Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol immediately flew to Kalinga via military chopper to assess damages brought by Typhoon Lawin in Region II and other northern regions after returning from official visit to China with President Rodrigo Duterte.
“I proceeded here after returning from my trip as the president instructed us and wants us to deliver immediate help and interventions to affected areas in the northern Luzon particularly Cagayan Valley, which bore the brunt of supertyphoon Lawin, in the most expeditious manner as possible as time is of the essence,” Piñol said.
Based on initial assessments, damage inflicted on the agriculture and fisheries sector has already reached to P10.2 billion, with rice, corn and vegetable suffering the greatest losses.
“This does not yet fully reflect the destruction brought by Lawin in these regions as we are still in the process of assessing all sectors,” the Secretary said.
The super typhoon made its landfall in Cagayan Valley on Wednesday.
During his visit, Piñol met with Kalinga Governor Jocel Baac to discuss plans of action to help farmers and fishers cope with the damages, and immediately recover their livelihoods.
Piñol immediately ordered all officials and personnel of the Agriculture Department to provide food assistance to affected farmers and fisherfolks, quickly validate the extent of damage, the identities and number of farmers and fishers affected and immediately distribute seeds from pre-positioned seed buffer stocks, fertilizers, fishing gear, and other needed assistance.
“I have also instructed the concerned DA agencies, particularly the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation and the Agricultural Credit Policy Council, to swiftly process crop insurance payments to enable the farmers and fishers cope with their loss,” he said.
As of latest count, more than 49,000 farmers were affected by the onslaught of Typhoon Lawin, translating to more than 406,000 hectares (has) of damaged areas in the Cordillera Administrative Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA and Bicol regions.
“From this, only 13,000 has may recover,” the agri chief announced.
Piñol disclosed that there are about 246,240 bags of rice seeds and 9,628 bags of corn seeds as buffer stock.
As of September 30, 2016, the national government has prepositioned stocks for distribution, for both rice and corn, to immediately enable the farmers to replant and continue with their farming amidst climate change events, including typhoon and drought. # Source - (Adora Rodriguez/DA-AFID)/www.da.gov.ph