Ilocos Norte’s provincial risk reduction management office reported that P20.66 million worth of rice, corn, high-value crops and fisheries were damaged. Several farm animals also fell victim to flash floods in Ilocos Norte over the weekend.
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DA to help farmers coping with Ineng damage
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - August 26, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture is allocating funds for emergency loan assistance to farmers affected by Tropical Storm Ineng as damage to agriculture and infrastructure has risen to P292 million.

Ilocos Norte’s provincial risk reduction management office reported that P20.66 million worth of rice, corn, high-value crops and fisheries were damaged. Several farm animals also fell victim to flash floods in Ilocos Norte over the weekend.

The bulk of the damage, estimated at P271 million, was on infrastructure that includes bridges, roads and flood control projects in the province. Two people were also killed.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the department would provide emergency financial assistance under its Survival and Recovery (SURE) program, wherein every affected farmer can avail himself of a loan up to P25,000. It is interest-free and payable up to three years.

The DA-attached agency Agricultural Credit Policy Council will disburse the fund through the Nueva Segovia Cooperative.

The DA-Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Operation Center has yet to quantify the damage on agriculture in all the areas affected by Ineng.

But based on the combined data of Cagayan Valley, Bicol region and Eastern Visayas, the area of standing crops that might be affected by Ineng totals 625,940 hectares—381,151 hectares for rice and 244,789 hectares for corn.

Meanwhile, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office said floods inundated several villages in Bacarra, Pasuquin, Pagudpod and Laoag City in Ilocos Norte.

The floods had forced at least 8,000 residents to evacuate their flooded villages in Ilocos Norte.

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Ilocos Norte has already declared a state of calamity in the entire province.

Kennon Road impassable

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) advised motorists to use the alternate routes going to Baguio City as heavy rains brought by Ineng caused soil and rock to collapse along four sections of Kennon Road.

In its situational report, the DPWH-Bureau of Maintenance reported that those sections are not passable to motorists because of debris flow and road obstructions caused by soil collapse, rock collapse and rock cut. 

 While clearing operations are undergoing, the DPWH proposed that motorists make use of alternate routes—Marcos Highway, Naguilian Road or Asin-Nangalisan-San Pascual Road—to get to Baguio City.

The DPWH also monitored a road cut along the Baguio-Bontoc Road in Mountain Province.

Sections of the Manila North Road (MNR) in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte were flooded and cannot be accessed by motorists. In Barangays Bayug and Bonbon, only one lane is passable because of a collapsed road shoulder and scoured box culvert, respectively.

Public works personnel already installed warning signs near the affected areas to inform motorists and the public.

In Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, DPWH said the Bolo Bridge remains passable to motorists even if its slope protection and approach have been damaged.

The Ilocos Norte District Engineering Office II estimated the damage due to dike erosion at the Parado Dingras Road, which is part of the Dingras Marcos Old Road, at P7.4 million.  – With Evelyn Macairan

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE TROPICAL STORM INENG
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