As Severe Tropical Storm Maring continued its track to exit the country, the weather disturbance left hundreds of millions of pesos worth of damage to the country’s crop sector, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said Wednesday.
In its latest bulletin, the DA said the damage and losses amounting to P608.50 million have been reported in the Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Bicol Region and Western Visayas.
The damage and losses translated to a volume of production loss of 36,354 metric tons (MT), affecting 29,063 farmers and fishers and 32,882 hectares of agricultural areas.
Affected commodities include rice, corn, high value crops, livestock, and fisheries, the DA said.
“These values are subject to validation,” it said.
Despite the millions worth of losses due to the onslaught of Maring, the Agriculture Department said prior to the weather disturbance a total area of 28,952 hectares of rice have been harvested from Regions I and II with an equivalent production of 141,635 metric tons amounting to P2.08 billion.
“As for corn, a total of 13,776 hectares have been harvested from Region II with an equivalent production of 55,654 metric tons amounting to P779.15 million,” the DA said.
The agency said it is conducting assessment and validation of damage and losses brought by Maring in the agri-fisheries sector through its Regional Field Offices (RFOs).
“The DA will continue to coordinate with concerned NGAs (national government agencies), LGUs (local government units) and other DRRM (disaster risk reduction and management)-related offices for the impact of ‘Maring,’ as well as available resources for interventions and assistance,” it said.
To mitigate the impact of the severe tropical storm, the DA said it would provide the following assistance to affected farmers and fishers:
- Quick Response Fund (QRF) amounting to P172 million for the rehabilitation of affected areas
- A total of 168,998 bags of rice seeds; 16,601 bags of corn seeds, and 1,480 kgs of assorted vegetables from affected regions
- Drugs and biologics for livestock and poultry needs
- Emergency loan assistance from Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) totaling to P500 million wherein an amount of up to P20,000 will be provided with zero interest and no collateral, payable in 10 years
- Available funds from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) to indemnify affected farmers
“The DA-DRRM (Disaster Risk Reduction and Management) Operations Center will continuously provide updates regarding severe tropical storm ‘Maring’,” the Agriculture Department said.
Source - https://www.gmanetwork.com