President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., announced that the Department of Agriculture (DA) is ready to assist a total of 80,295 farmers and fisherfolk who were affected by the Severe Tropical Storm (STS) “Paeng”.
The agricultural damage and losses is estimated at P2.86 billion (B) as of November 3, 2022.
To immediately respond in affected areas, the President has also declared a state of calamity in Regions IV-A (CALABARZON), V (Bicol Region), VI (Western Visayas), and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) for six months.
With the declaration of state of calamity, the government can control prices of basic necessities and prime commodities in the four regions. The national and local governments can also utilize their funds for rescue, recovery, and rehabilitation measures.
DA is closely coordinating with concerned national government agencies, local government units, and other concerned offices to assess the impact of the tropical cyclones, and make available the needed resources for interventions and assistance.
The Department will provide agricultural inputs such as rice, corn and assorted vegetable seeds, while drugs and other biologics will be provided to the livestock and poultry industry stakeholders.
To help fishers recover from their losses, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) will disperse fingerlings.
The Department will also extend loans to affected farmers in the amount of PHP 25,000, payable in three years at zero interest under its Survival and Recovery Loan Program of the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC). The Quick Response Fund will also be made available.
The DA-Regional Field Offices (RFOs) reported that STS “Paeng” affected 86,574 of farm lands in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, Bicol, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Central Mindanao, and Soccsksargen regions. ### (Kristel Joyce Merle, DA-AFID/photo courtesy of DA-V RAFIS)