Some P74.55 million in agricultural losses have been recorded so far amid the eruption of Taal Volcano in Batangas, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA).
Coffee bore the brunt of the effect of the eruption, accounting for P73.96 million or 99% of the total damage, the DA said. The others were corn and livestock.
“DA RFO IV-A has reported initial damages and losses for coffee, corn and livestock at Php 74.55 million affecting 752 hectares and 102 animal head,” the DA said in a 7 p.m. bulletin on Monday.
“Coffee is the most affected commodity at Php 73.96 million,” it added.
The DA also warned that around 6,000 fish cages could be damaged, including Sardinella tawilis and tilapia, with production loss estimated at 15,033 metric tons.
Quoting the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), the DA said fishkill is expected in Taal Lake due to high sulfur content brought by the volcanic eruption.
Meanwhile, the National Food Authority (NFA) assured residents of affected areas that there are enough rice stocks for them with a total of 4,090,000 bags.
“NFA Administrator Judy Dansal guarantees that the rice stocks are safe for human consumption as they are stored in properly maintained warehouses away from ashfall,” the DA said.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar instructed its divisions and BFAR to intensify price monitoring, as well as to source needed food supply for Metro Manila markets.
PHIVOLCS has raised Alert Level 4 over the Taal Volcano after a phreatic eruption took place at the crater on Sunday. The province of Batangas was placed under a state of calamity on Monday. —Joviland Rita/KBK, GMA News