AGRICULTURAL damage caused by Typhoon Quinta (international name: Molave) has hit P2.20 billion, up from the previous estimate of P1.81 billion, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA).

In a bulletin, the DA said that 44,017 farmers and fisherfolk were affected by the typhoon, with production losses reckoned at 124,462 metric tons (MT), while 86,271 hectares of farmland were damaged.

Affected regions include Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon), MIMAROPA (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan), Bicol, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, and Zamboanga Peninsula.

“The increase in values is attributed to the updated reports in rice, corn and livestock from Central Luzon and Bicol Region,” the DA said in the bulletin.

Damage to the rice crop amounted to P1.51 billion, with some 99,986 MT lost and 75,529 hectares affected.

Losses to high-value crops were reckoned at P446.7 million. Some 18,718 MT worth of produce across 5,447 hectares of damaged farmland.

Damage to the corn crop was P137.8 million, followed by fisheries at P79.9 million, and livestock P8.1 million.

Damage to irrigation and agricultural facilities was P18.3 million, while losses of agricultural machinery and equipment amounted to P875,000.

The DA said that affected farmers can avail of government assistance such as P300 million worth of loans under the survival and recovery loan program from the Agricultural Credit Policy Council, and a total of 77,379 bags of rice seed; 9,817 bags of corn seed; 2,530 kilograms of vegetables; and 440,400 fruit tree seedlings.

Other assistance that can also be tapped include indemnification funds from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp., and quick response funds for the rehabilitation of affected areas.

In a separate bulletin, the DA said that it has saved a total of P16.96 billion worth of rice across the regions of Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, CALABARZON, and Bicol were harvested early following an advisory to farmers before Typhoon Rolly (international name: Goni) made landfall.

Some 242,638 hectares equivalent to 1.07 million MT of rice were harvested early.

Meanwhile, P579.07 million worth of corn or 45,703 MT across 11,132 hectares has been brought in and stored ahead of Rolly’s arrival.

“Continuous rain increases the water level of dams and rivers, which leads to flooding in low-lying agricultural areas,” the DA said.       

“Damage and losses in the agriculture sector are expected from Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, Bicol Region, and Visayas Region due to the typhoon,” it added. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave