Pampanga tops list crop damages-A A +A
Sunday, August 12, 2012
GUAGUA — The Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Bureau of Agricultural Statistics reported that Pampanga tops the list of provinces with most crop damages, with damages in Central Luzon reaching P583,563,206.
The DA said some 16,079.01 metric tons of supposed harvest in Central Luzon was hit by floodwaters from the recent rains brought by the southwest monsoon.
The DA’s latest partial and invalidated report showed that some 51,969.03 hectares have been flooded in all provinces of the region. Of this number, some 13,517.13 were classified as destroyed, meaning that farmers would have to replant and rehabilitate destroyed rice fields, while 38,451.90 hectares are considered damaged.
Pampanga’s palay crop damage is estimated to cost some P112,835,880 followed by Bulacan province with P64,110,728.
Tarlac province also sustained much damage to its palay crops with damages estimated to run at P51,775,948 and Zambales with P435,540 worth of damages.
In Pampanga alone, some 16,199.75 hectares have been hit by floodwater with some 8,737.80 hectares classified as destroyed.
Some 10,595 farmers in Pampanga have been hit by floodwaters with more than half of the number now in need of assistance to replant their fields, according to farm leaders in various towns here.
Earlier, Governor Lilia Pineda said they are now prioritizing everything from relief operations to assessment of damaged infrastructure.
“Pero nakapanlulumo ang laki ng damage. Marami pa ring mataas ang baha kagaya dito sa kabayanan ng Lubao at iba pang bayan sa second district. Grabe din, alam natin ang sinapit ng mga taga-fourth district pati na sa San Fernando, Sta. Ana, Arayat at Mexico. Priority natin sa relief operations ngayon iyung nasa mga evacuation centers at ibang lugar na maaabot natin,” the governor said.
She said she continues to urge those in affected areas to cooperate in relief and rehabilitation measures.
Butil Farmers Party Representative Agapito Guanlao has called on National Government agencies like the Department of Agriculture to speed up assistance programs for farmers.
He said the stability of the rice production and farmers in the region would depend on how fast local agencies would help farmers replant their fields.
Guanlao said more than the flooded houses, there are also significant damages to irrigation canals, protective dikes and canals that are important to farming activity in various parts of Central Luzon and Southern Tagalog areas.
Butil estimates that some P50 million would be need in seed assistance alone to get affected farmers back on track.
“Our farmers need seeds and other assistances to get them back on track. The DA should immediately start the release of assistances,” Guanlao said.
Currently, the DA is validating damage reports in the region and coming up with a master list of all affected farmers in various provinces.
Guanlao said there are enough funds for disaster response as earlier stated by President Benigno Aquino III during a recent visit in the capital City of San Fernando.
“We have enough funds for quick response. Rest assured that you will receive help,” Aquino said in Filipino.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 13, 2012.