The surrounding area of Mt. Mayon is considered as a ‘no man’s land’.
ALBAY, Philippines — Jose Oera, a farmer in the province of Albay described his family’s present situation.
“Kasi papaano ang pamilya mo kung basta-basta ka lang lilipat doon, wala naman sila ibibigay na pang hanapbuhay magugutom pamilya mo, hindi ako aalis,” said the farmer.
(What will happen to our family if they will just relocate us. They won’t be giving us livelihood anyway, my family would starve. I’m not leaving.)
For more than 40 years now, Jose has been supporting his family through farming.
The soil around the volcano is loamy, which is ideal for planting vegetables.
Oera’s farm in the town of Guinobatan is covered by the extended 8-kilometer danger zone around Mt. Mayon.
However, they might face relocation once the Department of Environment and Natural Resources or DENR-Mines and Geosciences Bureau updated its geohazard map around the volcano.
Due to the huge amount of lava spewed by Mt. Mayon, the DENR sees possible changes in the direction of a lahar flow.
“Puwedeng makasira ito sa ating mga kabuhayan yung bahay or mismo yung buhay (It might destroy their livelihood, homes or even their very lives),” said DENR Region 5 Director Roberto Sheen.
The updated geohazard map is one of the bases of the government in deciding what activities should be conducted within the permanent danger zone of Mt. Mayon.
The surrounding area of Mt. Mayon is considered as a “no man’s land”.
However, many still farm and live here.
According to the president’s emissary to Albay Secretary Francis Tolentino, there are farmers who own lands with the title.
He explained that this is one of the matters that should be considered in case the government pushes through with relocating residents located in danger zones.
“Yun ba ay papalitan, babayaran para ma relocate sila? At saka i-consider rin natin na ang area na yun ay very fertile in terms of agriculture (Can they replace it, or pay for it so that they can be relocated? We should also consider the area if it is fertile in terms of agriculture),” said Mayon Volcano Crisis Committee chairman, Francis Tolentino.
According to the DENR, if the updated geohazard map will be followed, the government could save money since there would be no need to evacuate residents every time Mt. Mayon erupts. — Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue
Agri-business exposition seen to boost farmers’ income
More than 50 micro-agripreneurs and farmers are expected to convene at the upcoming Agribusiness Support for Promotion and Investment in Regional Exposition (ASPIRE) in Butuan City on October 12-14
The agri-business exposition is a project of the Department of Agriculture (DA), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI).
The event will feature various processed foods made from high-value crops called “emerging products”.
These include mushroom chicharon sold in several parts of the region.
The project aims to bring the agricultural products closer to consumers in an effort to boost additional income for farmers apart from growing their crops.
“Ito ang matatawag natin na mega exhibit dito sa Caraga kasi lahat ng agencies nandito, kahit kami nasa background lang, pero sasali kami dito kasi ang layon natin dito na ang ating farmers ay maging entrepreneurs at maging mga exporters”,” said DOST-CARAGA Assistant Regional Director Ricardo Varela.
Farmers’ product displays are free-of-charge. The agriculture department also confirmed that products are sold at affordable prices.
the DA said the intensified promotion of emerging agri-products is what sets the mega trade fair apart from all the previous fairs. — Raymond Octobre
Ompong leaves P26-B damage to agriculture
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
Residents surrounding Mt. Mayon ordered to evacuate
Mayon evacuees receive relief goods from the local government
ALBAY, Philippines – A threat of lahar flow prompted more than 2,500 residents living at the foot of Mt. Mayon in the municipality of Guinobatan to rush to evacuation centers on Saturday, September 15.
Days of rain prior to the onset of Typhoon Ompong caused lahar deposits around the volcano to soften and flow with rainwater.
According to Mayor Ann Yap, lahar flow poses a great danger to residents especially those living near the river.
“Sila po ang nasa lahar-prone areas so mas mabuti po na nasa safe place sila. Nag pre-emptive evacuation na po tayo. With the recent eruption, with the lost materials, kapag malakas ang buhos ng ulan pwedeng ma-endanger ang mga constituents,” she said.
The local government assured prepositioned relief goods for evacuees.
In Catanduanes, 53 residents were evacuated from the municipalities of Viga and San Andres in line with the typhoon.
Relief goods were also distributed to affected residents.
“Nagseserve na tayo sa mga evacuation centers, sa mga ibang fishermen, sa family…dahil nagbawal tayong maglayag,” said Catanduanes governor Joseph Cua.
Meanwhile, based on the latest report of the Office of the Civil Defense Region V, there are more than 1,600 stranded passengers in all nine ports across Bicol Region. The regional government assured that they are provided with the necessary assistance while waiting for the weather to improve. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Allan Manansala)