FARM PRODUCTION likely weighed on overall economic performance last quarter, according to the government’s agriculture chief and one economist who both said last week that they expect worse performance from the sector when the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reports data on Wednesday.
Asked on expected farm production in the three months to September compared to the second quarter and a year ago, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol replied in an Oct. 29 text message that it was likely “slower than both periods because of calamities.”
The PSA had reported the agriculture sector’s output had expanded by a three-quarter-low 2.32% in the three months to September 2017 and by just 0.07% in the second quarter of this year.
For Rolando T. Dy, executive director of the University of Asia and the Pacific’s Center for Food and Agri Business, third-quarter farm output likely slumped, saying in an Oct. 29 text message: “-1 to -2, much less than third quarter of 2017” and explaining: “Laki fall ng corn, negative rice (There was a big fall in corn production and rice output was also negative).”
Among the four storms that affected the Philippines that quarter was typhoon Mangkhut, locally called Ompong, that ravaged northern and central Luzon on Sept. 15, wreaking P26.77 billion and P7.161 billion in farm and infrastructure damage, respectively, according to Oct. 6 government estimates. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio