DA has P300-M left for farmers affected by Typhoon Maring

Published October 12, 2021, 4:38 PM

by Madelaine B. Miraflor

The Department of Agriculture (DA) has P300 million left under its Quick Response Fund (QRF) that could be used to assist farmers and fishermen that were affected by Typhoon Maring.

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“QRF allocation [for areas affected by Typhoon Maring] will be based on the damage report. Our remaining budget for QRF is at P300 million,” said Arnel De Mesa, assistant secretary for operations of the DA.

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 regularly gets replenished by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

When asked how much of DA’s QRF has been spent so far for this year, de Mesa said it stood around P1.74 billion. Of this, nearly P800 million was used for efforts to deal with the impact of African Swine Fever (ASF), a fatal animal disease among hogs.

For calamities alone, P749.81 million has already been spent for this year, while nearly P90 million was spent to address the impact of dry spell and pest and diseases in other agricultural commodities.

Based on initial assessment of DA, Maring already resulted in P29.40 million worth of damage and losses in the agricultural sector of Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), affecting 1,128 farmers and their production of about 1,713 metric tons (MT) of various farm products.

So far, 1,225 hectares of agricultural areas have been reportedly damaged, while affected commodities include corn and high value crops.

“Additional damage and losses are expected in flooded areas due to Maring and enhanced Southwest Monsoon,” DA said.

Based on the combined data of affected regions like CAR, the area of standing crops that may be affected by Maring totals to 1.46 million hectares, which account for 77.98 percent of the national standing crops for rice and 57.98 percent of the national standing crops for corn.

On the forecast track as of Tuesday morning, Maring was seen moving westward over the West Philippine Sea and was expected to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility on the afternoon of the same day.

Due to Maring, heavy rain was felt over Ilocos Region, Benguet, Ifugao, Abra, and Mountain Province, while moderate to heavy rain were experienced in Zambales, Bataan, Tarlac and the rest of the Cordillera Administrative Region.

Aside from the QRF, the DA is now preparing other interventions for farmers and fishermen affected by Maring, including the distribution of rice, corn, and assorted seeds as well as drugs and biologics for livestock and poultry needs.

The DA is also preparing the release of Survival and Recovery (SURE) Loan Program facilitated by Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC), as well as the available funds from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) to indemnify affected farmers.

 
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