Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Manny Piñol, together with the recovery intervention team, inspected areas in the Bicol Region, which were badly hit by Tropical Depression “Usman.”

As of January 2, the DA had estimated damages and losses to agriculture in the Bicol Region alone at P300 million.

“As early as Dec. 31 when the DA Operations Center has collated the data on the extent of the damage especially in the Bicol Region and Northern Samar, I have issued directives to Operations Undersecretary Ariel Cayanan to form teams to be dispatched to the affected areas,“ Piñol said.

The agriculture chief said the teams are tasked to ensure that recovery interventions, such as seeds and farm inputs, are delivered immediately so the farmers could replant.

“The teams are tasked to ensure that recovery interventions, such as seeds and farm inputs, are delivered immediately so the farmers could replant.”

“While the estimated damage to rice is very high, the farmers could still recover as most of the areas damaged have just been planted,” Piñol noted.

Piñol further said he also directed the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp (PCIC) to fast-track the damage assessment so that insurance payments could be quickly released.

“I have directed the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp to fast-track the damage assessment so that insurance payments could be quickly released.”

The Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) has also been directed to prepare Survival and Recovery Loan Funds for the affected farmers.

Piñol also ordered the National Food Authority (NFA) to monitor the rice supply situation and ensure that there is enough NFA rice in the market to prevent price hikes.

 

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