About P12 billion (B) worth of crops were saved from the havoc brought by Typhoon Tisoy following the preparations made by the Department of Agriculture (DA) prior to its landfall.

With DA’s early warning mechanism in place, rice farmers were able to salvage about 157,000 hectares of paddy rice.

According to Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar, the volume of palay harvested three days before the onslaught of the typhoon translates to about P11.6B in cash value.

“We have an operation center at DA where we prepare bulletins based on the reports of PAGASA, and we relay these bulletins to the regions that will potentially be affected by any weather disturbance,“ he said.

The mechanism allows the DA to notify the regional offices, which then alert the agricultural extension workers and technicians on the ground to inform the farmers.

For corn, about P109 million worth of produce were salvaged from 2,000 hectares harvested before the typhoon struck.

However, Typhoon Tisoy has caused a spike in the prices of various commodities in the market, including fish and vegetables. During an inspection at Muñoz market in Quezon City on December 6, Dar noted a slight increase in the value of some food items.

“Marami pong factors ang nakakaapekto sa production. Kagaya nung nakaraang bagyo, apektado yung mga probinsya na involved sa production ng isda, kaya naman nakita ninyo yung paggalaw ng presyo,” he explained.

Vegetables sold in the market, which are normally sourced from Central and North Luzon, have also increased in price due to the typhoon. However, the Secretary stressed that with the forthcoming holiday season, prices are expected to move because of the law of supply and demand.

As of December 5, agricultural losses from Tisoy already reached P2B and may increase to another P500 million as additional reports from the affected provinces come in.

“Yung P2.5B loss versus the P12B-worth of crops that we have salvaged, maganda na may early warning preparations,” Dar said.