Agri losses in Central Luzon due to floods hit P343 MBy Tonette T. Orejas
Inquirer Central Luzon
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Philippines—It was finally sunny again throughout Central Luzon on Saturday but a pall of gloom remained as authorities assessed damage to agriculture in the region and the initial tally hit P343.1 million, a report from the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council showed.
Damage to livestock and cassava crops in Aurora totalled P1.8 million. Ruined rice, corn and high-value crops in Bataan amounted to P72.2 million; Nueva Ecija, P44.7 million; and Tarlac, P45.2 million.
Losses in livestock and crops in Bulacan reached P40.1 million and in Zambales, P23.1 million.
Pampanga registered the biggest amount of damage or losses—P116.2 million.
As of Friday, the floods in 857 villages in Bataan, Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales had affected 1,541,945 people or 15 percent of the region’s population.
So far, 311 evacuation centers were still being maintained—128 in Pampanga, 113 in Bulacan, 31 in Bataan, 26 in Zambales and 13 in Tarlac—for 51,905 people.
The RDRRMC reported 184 houses destroyed and 267 others damaged.
The rains raised the water levels at the Angat Dam in Bulacan and Pantabangan Dam in Nueva Ecija to 200.83 meters above sea level and 192.50 meters above sea level, respectively, without releasing any volume since Sunday when tropical storm “Maring” enhanced the southwest monsoon in Luzon, the RDRRMC said.
The cost of food and non-food aid given to flood victims amounted to P17 million, with P5.03 million coming from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, P6.149 million from the provincial governments and P4.9 million from the municipal governments.
On Saturday, Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda said the provincial government and the DSWD were able to enter flooded villages in Apalit and Macabebe towns and was able to deliver relief packs there together with the Department of Health, which was conducting medical missions.
The fatalities in the region climbed to seven, the latest being a drowning victim identified as Ed Paulo Maco, 12, of Barangay Apalit in Floridablanca, Pampanga.
Two men—Rodrigo Telles and Michael Silverio—remained missing since.
All roads and bridges to and from Tarlac were passable on Saturday.