‘Labuyo’ damage climbs to P124M in Cordillera-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Sunday, August 18, 2013
DAMAGE from Typhoon Labuyo (international codename: Utor) continues to climb as assessment reports from the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) arrive.
The Cordillera Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported an increase in damage to crops and irrigation systems.
The DA Operations Center said that from Tuesday's P11 million damage, the destruction wrought by the typhoon increased to P30 million.
Corn farms in the region were the most affected, with some P23 million in damage, followed by high value commercial crops such as highland vegetables with P4 million and rice fields destroyed worth P2.4 million.
Among provinces in the Cordillera, DA reported Ifugao was the most affected with some P26 million in damage, while Benguet sustained P2 million, and Mt. Province with 1.9 million worth of damage in agriculture and infrastructure.
Irrigation projects in the region were among the most devastated as the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) reported some P94 million in damages particularly to communal irrigation systems.
Communal irrigation systems in Mt. Province were the most affected, according to NIA-Cordillera with some P60 million in damages to vital infrastructures used in distributing water to farmlands.
DPWH, meanwhile, reported more than P116 million in damage to national roads, provincial roads and flood control projects with at least some four roads in the Cordillera still closed to vehicular traffic due to recurring rock and landslides.
Vital road infrastructure in Benguet and Baguio were the most hit in terms of national roads with a total of P37 million in damages.
For provincial and municipal roads, the town of Bauko sustained the most damage with some P36 million due to a road cuts.
The towns of Besao, Tadian and Sabangan also reported an accumulated damage worth P19 million.
Flood control projects in the municipalities of Bontoc and Paracelis in Mt. Province also suffered damages worth P12.6 million.
DA Regional Director Marilyn Sta. Catalina said they are willing to extend assistance to affected farmers, adding they are still continuing their assessment of affected farmers to fully gauge the extent of damage caused by the typhoons.
Sta. Catalina said the DA is ready to provide funds for repairs of warehouses, rebuilding of community seed banks, and farm to market roads rehabilitation projects, stressing these will still be evaluated by their technical teams.
DPWH Regional Director Edilberto Carabbacan said they will have to come up with projects to move for the immediate repair of national roads, stressing its adverse effects on trade and commerce especially to far-flung and mountainous towns.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 19, 2013.