Sunday, June 24, 2018
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‘AGATON’S’ COST

Storm impact on Capiz: Nearly 1B in crops

The impact of Tropical Depression “Agaton” was felt not only in the province of Capiz but also in several towns in Cebu province forcing children, like this boy, to do their part in cleanup tasks. —LITO TECSON/CDN

ILOILO CITY—Flooding unleashed by Tropical Depression “Agaton” ravaged farmlands and fish stocks and gear in Capiz province with damage estimated to cost at least P925 million.

At least 18,246 hectares of rice lands were damaged as of Jan. 9, according to the Capiz Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.

The estimated cost of damage on agriculture reached at least P847 million and some P78 million on fisheries.

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At least 1,064 farmers and fishermen suffered losses, according to the report.

Flooding hit 159 villages in 12 of the province’s 16 towns.

At the height of the flooding, 1,482 families or some 7,400 persons were evacuated in nine towns—Maayon, Sigma, Cuartero, Mambusao, Dumalag, Dao, Panitan, Pontevedra and Panay. All evacuees had returned to their homes.

Rice, seafood

Capiz, located at the northeastern part of Panay Island in Western Visayas, is a major producer of rice and seafood.

Provincial agriculturist Sylvia dela Cruz said reports of damage were still being collated and the damage estimate could increase.

She said palay in the damaged farmlands were in various stages of growth and those in the vegetative or early stage could still recover.

At least 30 percent of palay in mature or reproductive stage were beyond recovery, said Dela Cruz.

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Seedlings would be distributed to farmers who would need to replant crops, she said.

At least P4,350 in cash would be given to each farmer in towns where a state of calamity had been declared.

Share of funds

Half of the funds for the cash aid would come from the provincial government and the other half from municipal governments, according to Capiz Gov. Antonio del Rosario.

Some of the farmers, he said, would receive crop insurance worth at least P20,000 per hectare.

“We are thankful that we have no casualties. But many of our residents were affected by flooding especially our farmers,” Del Rosario told the Inquirer.

He said many of the evacuees stayed in houses of neighbors in elevated areas because some evacuation centers, including schools, were also flooded.

While no storm signal was raised over the province, heavy rains triggered flooding.

Del Rosario said water coming from the upland towns of Jamindan and Tapaz cascaded to the towns of Panitan, Pontevedra, Panay, Sigma and Dao submerging many areas in water.

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