AT LEAST P1.04-billion worth of agricultural products have been damaged by typhoon Ambo which hit Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Bicol and Eastern Visayas over the weekend.
The Department of Agriculture reported that the volume of production that was loss was recorded at 62,228 metric tons, affecting 20,652 hectares of agricultural areas and 21,655 farmers and fisherfolk in Central Luzon, CALABARZON, Bicol and Eastern Visayas Regions.
DA Secretary William Dar said the 73 per cent or P755.57 million of the total damage and losses comes from the reports on high value crops, of which 87% (P602.06 M) are banana and papaya in Quezon province.
Affected commodities include rice, corn, high value crops (assorted vegetables, banana and papaya), livestock, and fisheries (fish stock, facilities and equipment). These values are still subject to validation.
Due to the early advisory issued by Dar to Regional Field Offices (RFOs), 93,507 hectares have been harvested for rice and 76,474 hectares for corn in CAR, Regions I, II, III, IV-A, V, VI, VII and VIII. Volume saved is at 416,732 metric tons for rice amounting to P7.01 billion and 211,827 metric tons for corn amounting to P 2.20 billion.
Moreover, the rainshowers from “Ambo” were beneficial to the dams in Central Luzon, raising the water levels of Angat and Pantabangan dams.
DA Regional Executive Directors in “Ambo”-affected regions have also been instructed to thoroughly assess damage and losses in crops, livestock and fisheries, including farm infrastructures and facilities, and thereafter provide needed emergency assistance to affected farmers and fisherfolk.
Dar, on the other hand, assured that the Department will fast-track the delivery of interventions to typhoon-stricken farmers and fisherfolk.
The DA also prepared assistance to farmers and fisherfolk affected by “Ambo” which include the Quick Response Fund (QRF) worth P 700 million for the rehabilitation of affected areas; prepositioning of rice seeds (109,586 bags), corn seeds (10,116 bags), assorted vegetable seeds (1,195 kg), from CAR, Regions I, III, IV-A, V, VI, VII and VIII and prepositioning of drugs and biologics for livestock and poultry needs.
The affected regions, meanwhile, are now conducting assessment and field validation to determine the extent of damage and losses brought by the typhoon in the agri-fisheries sector.