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
BOC donates smuggled clothes and shoes to Ompong victims
MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has officially turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) the smuggled clothes, blankets and footwear that were confiscated by the agency from various ports in the country.
The items will be donated to victims of Typhoon Ompong which hammered Northern Luzon in September.
This is in accordance with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to help indigent members of the community and put smuggled products to good use.
Some of the clothes donated by BOC and DSWD are second-hand. Under the Republic Act 4653, the commercial importation of second-hand clothing is prohibited.
But according to the BOC, these are still eligible for donation through the deed of donation.
The items, however, have to go through disinfection first to prevent any health risks that may arise from such goods.
“This can also be subjected to fumigation process pa. Para mas makasiguro pa, we add another layer that this will really be safe for use ng kanyang intended recipient,” Port of Manila district collector, Atty.Erastus Sandino Austria said.
Among the items to be donated are 32 bales of second-hand clothes; 5 bales of brand new t-shirts; and 32 boxes of new shoes.
DSWD Secretary Virginia Orogo said, “Upon arrival of the donations it should go directly to the beneficiaries. It will not stay long in our warehouse it will not stay long in anybody’s place.”
This is the sixth time that the BOC has donated seized items to the DSWD.
Other than clothes and footwear, previous donations to calamity victims included rice and other food items. — Joan Nano
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
Duterte places Regions I, II, II and CAR under state of calamity
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte issues Proclamation Number 593 declaring state of calamity In Regions I,II,III and Cordillera Administrative Region after Typhoon Ompong caused widespread damage in northern Luzon.
The state of calamity declaration will fast track the rescue, relief, recovery and rehabilitation operations in the most affected areas.
It will also provide basis for price control measures which can mitigate the economic impact to the affected population.
The declaration of state of calamity in four regions will remain in effect until lifted by the president. — Rosalie Coz