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Agri damage due to Paeng hits P2.86 billion

Agricultural damage and losses caused by Severe Tropical Storm Paeng (international name: Nalgae) have increased to P2.86 billion as of Thursday afternoon, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Data released by the DA’s Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) Operations Center as of 5 p.m. on Thursday showed that Paeng caused a volume of production loss of 116,291 metric tons (MT).

This covers 86,574 hectares of agricultural areas in the Cordillera Administrative Region, the Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Western and Eastern Visayas, the Zamboanga Peninsula, Central Mindanao, and Soccsksargen.

Most of the losses were recorded in rice with P1.78 billion, high value crops with P557.2 million, livestock and poultry with P36.3 million, fisheries with P201.73 million, corn with P135.4 million, and cassava with P4,220.

Damage to agricultural infrastructures was estimated at P187.4 million, covering different laboratories and crop protection centers, warehouses, production facilities; and irrigation systems.

“The DA continuously coordinates with concerned NGAs (national government agencies), LGUs (local government units), and other DRRM-related offices for the impact of the tropical cyclones, as well as available resources for interventions and assistance,” the DA said.

The agency said available assistance includes P1.74 billion worth of rice seeds, P11.57 million worth of corn seeds, and P20.01 million worth of assorted vegetable seeds.

It also has P176,000 worth of animal heads, drugs, and biologics for livestock and poultry, along with fingerlings and assistance to affected fishermen from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

Affected stakeholders can also avail themselves of up to P25,000 in loans from the P400-million Survival and Recovery (SURE) Loan Program of the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC), on top of the quick response fund for the rehabilitation of impacted areas.

Paeng left the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Monday afternoon.

DA Assistant Secretary Kristine Evangelista earlier on Thursday said prices of agricultural commodities have already started to increase as Paeng impacted roads used for delivering shipments. — VBL, GMA News