Western Visayas logs P96-M agri losses from heavy rains
ILOILO CITY—It was just a day of heavy rains caused by a low pressure area (LPA) last week but it destroyed at least P96 million worth of crops in Western Visayas.
Reports from the Department of Agriculture (DA) showed that 2,686 farmers in Capiz, Iloilo and Negros Occidental provinces were affected by rains brought by an LPA over the coastal waters of Laguindingan in Misamis Oriental on May 3.
The same data released on Tuesday showed that the downpour damaged crops in 1,954.68 hectares of land while those in 658.50 ha were destroyed with no chance of recovery.
Among the areas where crops were affected were the towns of Dumalag (P34.8 million) and Sigma (P58.86 million) in Capiz; Dingle (P1.9 million) and Zarraga (P247,896) in Iloilo; and the cities of Cadiz (P277,064.30) and San Carlos (P293,750) in Negros Occidental.
The DA in Western Visayas said the distribution of Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund seeds is ongoing. The agriculture department, however, did not disclose the exact amount of seeds being given to affected families.
Ildefonso Toledo, chief of the Provincial Agricultural Office in Iloilo, said they would not be giving any assistance since they were not able to monitor damages to rice crops on their end.
He said palay in areas hit by heavy rains might have been planted only recently. He added that they were still assessing and validating damage to mongo plants.
“The situation in [Iloilo] province is that when the LPA hit on May 3, almost all of the [rice] planted in 2022 had been harvested. The damage that the [DA] had been stating is very minimal,” Toledo told reporters.
“Those actually damaged are mongo, after rice [harvest], and we’re still assessing that. We cannot release any data, not unless we have the official validated data submitted to the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office,” he added.
Heavy rains caused by an LPA flooded some parts of the Visayas last week.
In Dumalag, Capiz, soil erosion was observed in several barangays but all roads were passable to all types of vehicles except for Mait Bridge.
Landslides were also reported in the villages of Toyungan, Cahigon and Binolosan Pequeño in Calinog, Iloilo, while Barangay Agsirab in Dumarao, Capiz, also experienced soil erosion.No casualties, however, were reported.
Last Friday, three ambulances were stuck in traffic as vehicles slowly moved due to severe flooding in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.
Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez said the city government was working with the Department of Public Works and Highways to review and implement the 2018 drainage master plan.
—REPORTS FROM JOEY MARZAN AND CARLA GOMEZ INQ