Goring damage to farms nears P1 billion
MANILA, Philippines — The damage Typhoon Goring (international name: Saola) caused to the country’s farm sector last week is nearing P1 billion even as Northern Luzon residents braced for Typhoon Hanna (international name: Haikui).
According to the latest Department of Agriculture (DA) data, farm damage in Cagayan Valley and Western Visayas ballooned to P898.4 million on Saturday from P504.4 million previously.
The figure is still expected to increase as the DA continues to assess the damage caused by Goring.
The insular province of Batanes, for instance, has not completed its assessment of agricultural damage due to Goring, but provincial officials are already gearing up for the possible damage of Hanna.
The five main islands of Batanes lie between Luzon and Taiwan and are in the general path of most typhoons that hit the Philippines every year.
In an initial DA regional report, the damage to rice crops suggests that at least P192.65 million worth of palay, or 11,904 metric tons, were damaged by Goring.
May reach P300M damage
The DA estimates that damage caused by Goring may reach P300 million.
DA data suggest that Goring’s impact may be lower than the P4.6 billion brought about by Typhoons “Egay” and “Falcon,” which came right before Goring.
But still, Goring affected the livelihoods of 24,457 farmers, and crop losses are estimated at 39,011 metric tons covering 34,979 hectares of farmland.
The remainder came from high-value crops as well as livestock and poultry, which incurred P5.5 million and P2.3 million, respectively.
Affected farmers can only get a loan of up to P25,000 through the survival and recovery loan program of the Agricultural Credit Policy Council, but it is at least payable in three years at zero interest.
They can also tap the agency’s quick response fund for the rehabilitation of affected areas.
Batanes residents said Hanna has so far brought only light rains, compared to the heavy rain and gusty winds of Goring, but waters in and around the province were particularly rough, according to provincial disaster official Caesar Roldan Esdicul.
Meanwhile, flood-ridden northern towns showed many low-lying schools with damaged classrooms, Ruelie Rapsing, provincial disaster risk reduction and management officer of Cagayan, said in an online briefing on Saturday.
Among those heavily damaged was Licerio Antiporda Sr. National High School in Buguey town with about 80 percent destroyed roofs when a whirlwind hovered around the town during the typhoon’s onslaught, school teacher Gina Sebastian reported to the Cagayan school division office.
Sebastian also noted some areas with accumulated rainwater that may cause mosquitoes to flock in.