The Department of Agriculture (DA) will withdraw nearly P800 million from its Quick Response Fund (QRF) to assist farmers, fishermen, and livestock raisers that were severely affected by Typhoon Quinta.
Data from the DA’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DRRM) showed the DA is now planning to pull out P795 million from its QRF for the rehabilitation of farms and fishing communities hit by Quinta, which already left the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) two days ago.
This, as the damaged Quinta has incurred to the agriculture sector already rose to P705.87 million from the previously reported P401.73 million
QRF is a built-in fund allocation that serves as a standby budget that certain agencies can tap to immediately assist areas stricken by catastrophes and crises. It gets replenished by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) regularly.
To be specific, Quinta has already resulted in a volume loss of 33,545 metric tons of agricultural products, including rice, corn, high value crops, fisheries, and livestock. There were also irrigation and agriculture facilities that have been damaged.
As per DRRM, as many as 25,483 farmers and fisherfolk within 19,971 hectares of agricultural areas have been affected. They were from Ilocos Region, CALABARZON, Bicol Region, Western Visayas, and Zamboanga Peninsula.
“The increase in values is attributed to the updated reports in rice and corn from the provinces of Batangas, Laguna, Rizal, Quezon, Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Masbate, Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo and Zamboanga City,” the DA-DRRM data said.
“The DA Regional Field Offices [are now] thoroughly assessing and validating damage and losses in the agri-fisheries sector, and thereafter provide needed emergency assistance to affected farmers and fisherfolk,” it added.
The following assistance from the DA that would be made available to affected farmers include the aforementioned QRF for rehabilitation; loans under Agricultural Credit Policy Council’s (ACPC) Survival and Recovery (SURE); and indemnification funds from Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) to indemnify affected farmers.
A total of 30,280 bags of rice seeds, 8,071 bags of corn seeds, and 1,792 kilograms of assorted vegetables from Regions I, IV-A, V, VI and IX will also be distributed.