The fish-kill in Lake Sebu destroyed at least 1,000 cages containing about 200,000 kilograms of tilapia estimated to be worth some P20 million.
Lake Sebu Mayor Floro Gandam said at least 250 tilapia growers would get aid from the local government to recover their losses.
But officials who joined an emergency meeting which Gandam convened on Monday did not think the damage was extensive enough to place the town under a state of calamity.
Christopher Ofong, the municipal information officer, said the disaster risk reduction and management office decided against recommending the declaration of state of calamity because some criteria were not met, such as the condition that the fish kill should affect at least 20% of the population.
The fish kill affected at least 10 sub-villages in three of the town’s 19 barangays, Ofong said.
Rudy Muyco, the municipality’s lake warden, said dissolved oxygen in the lake was “almost at zero level,” as shown by results of a water analysis conducted by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.