MANILA, Philippines — Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol confirmed on Monday, September 24, that Typhoon Ompong inflicted P26 billion worth of damages to agriculture.
The country’s rice production was the hardest hit with the destruction of 765,000 metric tons of rice valued at P14.5 billion.
Corn production was the next to suffer with P8.1 billion worth of losses.
This is apart from the damages on irrigation facilities, machinery and other equipment estimated to be over half a million pesos.
Piñol said this has been the biggest agricultural damage after super typhoon Yolanda struck in 2013 causing P35 billion worth of agricultural damages.
Despite this, the agriculture secretary believes that the price of rice will remain stable as the 750,000 metric tons of imported rice are expected to arrive before the year ends.
“I don’t think there will be much movement actually sa palay prices sapagkat mayroon tayong losses sa Ompong, mayroon naman tayong parating na importation. Nasa mga ganoon pa rin, mga 20 (pesos),” Piñol said.
Meanwhile, he said that the department has allotted funds to aid the victims; however, he said that it will not suffice.
Due to this, Piñol is set to submit today, September 25, to President Duterte a masterplan on the rehabilitation of Ompong-affected areas.
“Hindi sapat ang pondo kaya nga gumagawa tayo ng masterplan which we will submit to the Office of the President tomorrow because we are hoping that we will be able to convince Congress to allocate funds.”
The Secretary is also set to convene local officials next month to create the local food security plan that will help the country’s growing population. — Yssa Jalmasco/Asher Cadapan | UNTV News & Rescue