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Damage to “Maring” farm reaches 979.97 million yen and affects 35,000 farmers

More than 35,000 farmers in eight regions have lost nearly a billion pesos in income due to the recent onslaught of Typhoon “Maring”, according to the latest assessment from the Ministry of Agriculture (DA) on Thursday.

DA reported that agricultural damage and losses in Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Bicol Region, Western Visayas and Central Visayas reached 979, 97 million pesos. The DA added that Maring affected 52,132 hectares of farmland with a production loss of 59,514 metric tons (MT).

“Affected products include rice, maize, high value crops, livestock and fisheries. These values ​​are subject to validation, ”said DA.

The DA said most or about 79.72 percent of total agricultural losses were recorded in the rice industry. The DA added that rice farmers lost 45,491 tons of produce worth 781.3 million pesos planted on 43,912 hectares of land.

According to DA, corn growers lost 121.4 million pesos as Maring damaged 7,870 tonnes of produce planted on 6,750 hectares of farms.

The DA added that the High Value Added Crops (HVC) sector recorded 59.3 million pesos in damage and loss after Maring affected 1,470 hectares of farms with an estimated volume loss of 6,153 MT.

In addition, around 2,648 head of cattle and poultry (chickens, cattle, carabao, horses, goats, ducks and sheep) were affected by Maring with damage estimated at 6.2 million pesos, according to DA.

The DA added that the fishing industry suffered damage and losses worth P 11.8 million after Maring affected ponds and fishing boats.

The DA has allocated a Rapid Response Fund (FRR) in the amount of 172 million pesos for the rehabilitation of the affected areas, while a total of 168,998 bags of rice seeds, 16,601 bags of maize seeds and 1,480 kilograms of assorted vegetables will be distributed to the victims. Farmers.

DA said farmers could also qualify for a zero-interest, unsecured, 10-year loan from the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) of up to P20,000. budget of 500 million pesos for the emergency loan assistance program.

The death toll climbs to 30; 14 missing

The National Council for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (NDRRMC) reported that Maring’s death toll has reached 30, while 14 others remain missing. Three were also injured.

At least 1.90 billion pesos of crops, fishing and livestock were also damaged, in addition to the initial value of 66.4 million pesos in infrastructure.

While flooding has already abated in most parts of northern Luzon, several areas in Region 1, particularly in Ilocos Sur and La Union provinces, are still underwater.

At least 46 roads and 14 bridges in regions 1, 2, 4B and the Cordillera administrative region remained impassable.

The NDRRMC said Maring directly reached 50,040 families or 194,677 people in 673 barangays nationwide.

Proactive measures

Labor leader and presidential aspirant Leody de Guzman has urged the government to implement proactive measures to temper the expected rise in food prices following the damage Maring caused to farms in northern Luzon.

“Let’s be proactive in preventing the increase in food and vegetable prices that typically occur after the typhoons that hit northern Luzon. Watch for traders who buy low from stricken farmers and sell high in urban areas due to low supply. Nutrition is of the utmost concern during a pandemic, ”said de Guzman of the Partido Lakas ng Masa and the Laban ng Masa Coalition in a press release released Thursday.

De Guzman pointed out that most of Metro Manila’s agricultural products, such as rice, garlic and selected vegetables such as cabbage, carrots and lettuce, come from areas affected by the typhoon.

De Guzman noted that an increase in food prices would worsen the poverty of farmers and ordinary consumers, as they would “fall victim to the unfair profits of unscrupulous traders.”

“A recent study by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas noted the critical role of the agricultural sector in northern Luzon for our economic recovery from the pandemic. The government should take the lead in addressing the plight of severely affected farmers, ”he said.

“This could mobilize the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation [PCIC] to replace damaged agricultural assets and products. The Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines are expected to provide catastrophic zero-interest loans. Farmer cooperatives should be encouraged to venture into distribution and not just food production, ”he added.

Government assistance P2.7-M

The government has already released 2.7 million pesos in aid to families affected by Maring, according to the Ministry of Social Protection and Development (DSWD).

Of that amount, Deputy Social Welfare Secretary Glenda Relova said 1.8 million pesos came from DSWD funds, while 934,000 pesos came from the local government.

The funds were spent to help typhoon victims in the Ilocos region, the Cagayan Valley region and the CAR.

On Wednesday, Relova said DSWD still has 1.05 billion pesos in funds left, which can be used to help other victims of the typhoon.

Citing data from the Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Center, she said there were 45,000 families or 175,501 people who were affected by heavy rains and flooding caused by Maring.

For its part, DA allocated 172 million pesos from its Rapid Response Fund (QRF) to help rehabilitate typhoon-stricken farmland in regions 1, 2 and CAR.

It will also distribute 168,998 bags of certified rice seeds; 16,601 bags of certified corn seeds; and 1,489 kilograms of vegetable seeds assorted to affected farmers.

Meanwhile, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said it would expand emergency employment to informal sector workers, who have been displaced through its Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged program / Displaced Workers (TUPAD).

Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said the government still had £ 2 billion in funds for TUPAD this year.

With Samuel P. Medenilla, René Acosta

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