By Darryl John Esguerra

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (File Photo)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Monday said he does not see the need to place the entire country under a state of calamity due to El Niño.

In an interview in Bacolod City, Marcos said the government is addressing the effects of the phenomenon at the local level, stressing that affected provinces are being impacted to varying degrees.

“Iba-iba ang problema sa bawat lugar eh. Hindi naman pwedeng shotgun lang, one size fits all ‘no. (The problem is different in every area. It can’t be just a shotgun approach, there’s one size fits all measure). We look at each area and see what it is that they need,” Marcos said.

“That’s what we are, that’s the way we are handling the local state of calamity that the local governments are declaring,” he added.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said at least 18 cities and municipalities have declared a state of calamity due to the phenomenon.

Meanwhile, latest data by the Department of Agriculture showed that agricultural damage caused by El Niño has surged to PHP2.63 billion, while the government assistance has reached PHP1.1 billion.

The weather bureau said the number of El Niño-affected provinces may reach 80 by the end of April, while its effects may linger until June. (PNA)