Maring agricultural damage reaches P1.2 billion

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Damage to agriculture caused by Severe Tropical Storm Maring has reached P1.2 billion, data from the Department of Agriculture (DA)’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Operation Center showed.

In its bulletin yesterday, the agency said 42,787 farmers and 61,234 hectares of agricultural areas in the Cordilleras, Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Western Visayas, Central Visayas and Soccsksargen were affected by the storm, with production loss at 68,891 metric tons.

Rice accounted for 80.13 percent of the damage with 52,241 hectares affected. Volume loss was at 55,763 MT valued at P967.1 million.

Corn accounted for 10.87 percent of the damage with 7,202 hectares affected and volume loss of 7,971 MT worth P131.1 million.

Damage to high-value crops was pegged at P72.5 million; livestock and poultry, P20.5 million, and fisheries, P15.05 million.

The amount of damage is still subject to validation, according to the DA.

The DA said an initial P822 million was allocated to aid farmers and fisherfolk affected by the storm.

State of calamity in Dagupan

In Pangasinan, the city council of Dagupan passed a resolution yesterday declaring a state of calamity amid widespread flooding due to Maring.

“It has been three full days since rains from Typhoon Maring have ceased and the city’s river system is still at a very critical level of seven to eight meters above sea level,” the resolution, which was approved in a special session, read.

The city is expected to continue to suffer from flooding in the next four to five days as rainwater from upland areas continues to move downstream, the city council said.

A third of Dagupan’s barangays were inundated in floodwaters.

Initial reports from the city social welfare office showed that 165 families composed of 601 people have been displaced.

The city council said the calamity declaration would ensure that government resources and processes would be utilized to  “restore and rehabilitate the living condition and capacities of affected families, livelihood, infrastructure and other service facilities.”                          – With Eva Visperas

The DA said P650 million would be allocated for the provision of emergency loans under the SURE Calamity Loan Assistance Program through its Agricultural Credit Policy Council.

Affected households can borrow P20,000 at zero interest with no collateral and payable in 10 years.

The DA said it also allotted P172 million under its Quick Response Fund for the rehabilitation of affected areas in Northern Luzon.

“These interventions are over and above the regular assistance provided by the DA to farmers and fishers affected by typhoons and other natural calamities,”the DA said.

“We will continue to provide our typhoon and flood-affected farmers and fisherfolk in Northern Luzon and other areas with immediate aid and much-needed assistance to recover and start anew after the damage and loss in their livelihood and income,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said.

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