DAMAGE caused by Typhoon Ruby (international name: Hagupit) to the country’s agriculture sector rose to P1.02 billion so far, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said on Monday.
In a report, DA Assistant Secretary Edilberto de Luna said the typhoon affected 55,850 hectares of farmland and farm infrastructure in the Bicol, Western Visayas and Eastern Visayas regions.
The volume of affected palay production is now estimated at 48,054 metric tons, 7,550 MT for corn, and 486 MT for high-value crops with a total value of P941.04 million.
For the fisheries sector, production losses amounted to P48.22 million, while damage to the livestock sector damage is estimated at P809,550. Damage to various agri-fishery infrastructure and equipment stood at P30 million.
In a media briefing, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said that compared to Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), damage from Typhoon Ruby is expected to be lower, particularly on the crop subsector, since most of the areas planted to rice and corn have already been harvested.
“Those areas still not harvested, as long as it’s still not in the flowering stage, we can still recover that crop. So, we expect no major damage from the typhoon,” Alcala said.
Meanwhile, DA Undersecretary Emerson Palad said that the
department has already positioned seeds in municipalities and towns that may be affected by the typhoon for emergency replanting.
“What we can [also]assure the public is that although Ruby is also a destructive typhoon, we are ready to roll out remaining assistance, aside from what had already been prepositioned,” Palad said.
The official said that DA has prepositioned a total of 78,479 bags for rice and 17,554 for corn nationwide which are intended to lessen the impact of any weather disturbance.
Palad also said that the DA-Quick Response Teams in the national and regional levels are still active and manning their respective command centers on a 24-hour basis, adding that they will continuously monitor and validate reports coming from other areas affected by the storm.