A week after appearing on the House floor to appeal for additional aid for Isabela residents adversely affected by floods caused by Typhoon Ulysses, Isabela 6th District Rep. Inno Dy V on Monday thanked House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco for proposing that an additional P5 billion be added to the calamity fund under the proposed 2021 national budget, and urged members of the bicameral committee adopt the proposal as doing so would help all regions hit hard by the succession of typhoons that have battered the country.
The latest NDRRMC report has pegged infrastructure damage caused by Typhoon Ulysses at P8.69 billion, while the cost of damage to agriculture has been pegged at P4.21 billion.
Dy called on his colleagues in the House to provide additional assistance for Isabela, and urged House leadership to earmark allocations to aid Isabela and other heavily-damages areas.
Dy stressed that the same report indicated that among areas hit by Typhoon Ulysses, Cagayan Valley suffered the greatest damage to infrastructure at P4.95 billion, as well as the second-highest damage to agriculture at P1.1 billion.
“The damage estimates are coming in and they do not bode well for our region, which experienced unprecedented flooding,” lamented Dy.
“Kaya kailangan talaga ng mga kababayan namin sa Isabela ng tulong mula sa national government, and we are very grateful that the Speaker has answered our pleas for help.”
In a privilege speech last Monday, Dy called on his colleagues in the House to provide additional assistance for Isabela, and urged House leadership to earmark allocations to aid Isabela and other heavily-damages areas “so that we will be able to help our kababayan in the North rebuild, recover, and rebound from the damage caused by Typhoon Ulysses.”
“The damage estimates are coming in and they do not bode well for our region, which experienced unprecedented flooding.”
Following the Speaker’s proposal to augment the 20 billion-peso calamity fund by five billion pesos, the freshman lawmaker said he was optimistic “that the House’s senate counterparts in the bicam will be amenable to the proposal, as it is clear how critical it is to our country’s food security to rehabilitate and repair the damage caused by Typhoon Ulysses to the country’s food basket.”
The legislator cited a statement by Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar, who in an interview said that the country’s rice self-sufficiency had dropped from 93% to 89%-90% after the DA had assessed the damage wrought by typhoons.
“The DA had initially estimated that we needed to import only seven percent of all rice in 2021, but after these typhoons, the revised estimate is now up to 10% or 11%,” said Dy.
“Data shows our ability to produce enough rice for our population has been compromised by these typhoons, and the sooner we can help our farmers get back on their feet, the sooner we can improve local rice production, which will help stabilize the prices and supplies of this basic food staple.”