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DA extends P680-M worth of assistance to Rolly-hit farmers, fishers in Bicol

The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Wednesday said it has extended P680 million worth of initial assistance to farmers affected by the onslaught of Super Typhoon Rolly in the Bicol region.

Bulk or P592,432,000 of the said amount are allotted, through the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC), as indemnification fund for 32,761 Bicol farmers, whose insured crops were damaged by the disaster.

The PCIC-insured farmers and fishers in Bicol region will receive insurance claims, ranging from P10,000 to P15,000 for their crops, farm equipment, fishing boats and gear damaged by Rolly.

Meanwhile, P90 million worth of other assistance including seeds of hybrid rice, corn and assorted vegetables, urea fertilizer, farm implements, and fishing gears and paraphernalia were distributed to affected farmers and fishers in Albay, one of the hard-hit provinces in Bicol.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said that affected farmers and fishers can also avail of an emergency and rehabilitation loan worth P25,000 from the DA's Agricultural Credit and Policy Council (ACPC), under its Survival and Recovery (SURE) Loan Program.

The DA-ACPC has allotted an initial P100 million for Bicol under its Survival and Recovery (SURE) loan program.

The loan is non-collateral, has zero interest and is payable in 10 years.

According to the DA, the combined amount of damage and losses from Typhoon Quinta and Super Typhoon Rolly stands at P4.56 billion affecting 77,958 farmers and 115,148 hectares of agricultural areas in Regions III, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, V, VI, and VIII. Volume of production loss is at 262,539 metric tons.

The affected commodities include rice, corn, high value crops, fisheries, livestock, irrigation and agri-facilities.

For Quinta alone, the total amount of damage and losses in agri-fisheries is now at P2.56 billion from the previously-reported P2.2 billion, with 145,577 MT of volume loss, affecting 47,864 farmers and fisherfolk with 88,252 hectares of agricultural areas in Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, Bicol Region, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas and Zamboanga Peninsula. Affected commodities include rice, corn, high value crops, fisheries, livestock, irrigation and agri-facilities.

As for Rolly, the total damage and losses has increased to P2 billion from the previously-reported P1.75 billion affecting 30,094 farmers and 26,896 hectares of agricultural areas.

Volume of production loss is at 116,962 metric tons. The affected commodities include rice, corn, high value crops, livestock and agri-facilities in CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, Bicol Region and Eastern Visayas.

All the reported damage and losses values are still subject to validation, the DA said.

The DA assured affected farmers and fishers of the following assistance:

  • total of 4,263 bags of rice issued by the National Food Authority (NFA) to the provinces of Marinduque, Albay, Camarines Norte, Catanduanes, Sorsogon and Cavite for relief operations
  • total of 133,326 bags of rice seeds, 17,545  bags of corn seeds, and 1,980 kilograms of assorted vegetables from DA regional field office
  • animal stocks, planting materials, feeds, drugs and biologics for livestock and poultry
  • around 10 million pieces of available tilapia and milkfish fingerlings, as well as fishing gears and paraphernalia for distribution
  • Quick Response Fund amounting to P400 million for the rehabilitation of areas affected by Rolly
  • Survival and Recovery (SURE) Loan Program of Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) amounting to P300M wherein an emergency loan of up to P25,000 (P5,000 for emergency and P20,000 for recovery) will be provided, with zero interest and no collateral, payable in 10 years
  • Indemnification fund from Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) amounting to P1 billion to pay for the losses incurred. —LDF,GMA News