‘Ompong’ leaves at least P16.8-B agricultural damage

MANILA — The damage and losses to the agriculture sector caused by Typhoon Ompong have reached PHP16.76 billion, the Department of Agriculture (DA) reported on Wednesday.

According to the department’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Operation Center, the damage and losses covered a total of 636,908 hectares of agricultural areas, with an estimated production loss of 731,294 metric tons.

The updated estimates included reports from Regions I, II, III, and IV-A, particularly in rice, fisheries, and fisheries facilities and equipment.

Damage and losses in rice are now pegged at PHP11.45 billion, accounting for over 68 percent of the total damage and losses recorded.

About 474,838 hectares of rice fields were hit by the typhoon, or 47.71 percent of the 995,218 hectares of rice crops in CAR, Regions I, II, III, and IV-A, the DA said.

The volume of production losses was pegged at 558,441 metric tons, as most of the affected crops were mostly in their reproductive stage.

Provinces heavily affected include Nueva Ecija in Region III, incurring losses and damages worth PHP2.84 billion, followed by Cagayan in Region II with PHP2.77 billion.

Meanwhile, damage and losses to fisheries have amounted to PHP6.94 million for the fish production and facilities/equipment. Some of the damaged facilities/equipment were tilapia fish ponds, fish cages, FRP boats, dikes, and breeding tanks in Region II.

To date, there are no changes in the damage and losses in corn, high-value crops, livestock and poultry, and irrigation facilities.

Field validation is being conducted by the DA Central Office and concerned Regional Field Offices (RFOs).

The DA-DRRM Operations Center will continue to monitor and provide further updates on the effects of “Ompong”. Maricor Zapata/PNA-northboundasia.com