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Estimated typhoon damages exceed P3 billion - NDCC

June 24, 2008 12:03pm
MANILA, Philippines – Typhoon "Frank" has already damaged a total of P3.2 billion worth of agricultural and fish products and damaged more than 300 schools nationwide, officials said Tuesday.

This, as respective government agencies on Tuesday morning relayed their updates to Vice President Noli de Castro in a National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) meeting held at Malacañang.

De Castro presided the NDCC meeting since President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, along with around 60 lawmakers, traveled to the US for a 10-day trip.

Agricultural damage

In a radio report, the Agriculture Department was quoted as saying that the total damage to crops has already ballooned to almost P1 billion.

In the meeting, Agriculture Undersecretary Jesus Paras detailed the breakdown of the agricultural damage as follows: P608 million worth of rice, P155 million worth of corn, and P194 million worth of high valued crops.

The damage to the fisheries, however, was a lot bigger at P2.2 billion - more than double of that in the agriculture sector.

This amount came about after 25,000 metric tons of bangus (milk fish) and 5,000 metric tons of prawns and shrimps were destroyed by the typhoon.

Also discussed in the meeting was the report that the United States has donated $100,000 for the affected families of typhoon Frank.

The said amount was given to the Philippine National Red Cross, which is expected to use the money to buy relief goods that will be distributed to different communities hit by the typhoon.

The radio report added that the financial assistance from the US is expected to climb as soon as President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo meets with US President George Bush at 10 p.m. Tuesday (Manila time).

School report

For his part, Education Secretary Jesli Lapus said that 351 schools all over the country have been damaged by the typhoon.

This figure, Lapus said, was still aside from the 140 schools that were transformed into evacuation centers for affected families.

All schools remain closed in Malabon and Valenzuela cities, which have been badly hit by the inclement weather and experienced severe flooding. Lapus said he was leaving to the respective local governments in the twin cities the decision whether or not to order the resumption of classes in the next few days.

As for universities and colleges, the Commission on Higher Education said in the meeting that it would be extending enrollment until June 30. - Mark Merueñas, GMANews.TV
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