The Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) is now diversified its investments into agribusiness, assisting the…
Paeng-related losses to agriculture currently total P3.16 billion.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) said on Saturday that 83,704 farmers and fishermen had been affected by Severe Tropical Storm Paeng, which had caused damage and losses totaling PHP3.16 billion.
On 84,677 hectares of cropland in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Central Mindanao, and Soccsksargen regions, 197,811 metric tons (MT) of production were lost.
Rice, corn, high-value crops, fisheries, livestock, and poultry are some of the affected commodities. Additionally, agricultural infrastructure, machinery, and equipment have suffered damage.
The DA has already given impacted farmers seeds worth PHP1.74 billion for rice, PHP11.57 million for corn, and PHP20.01 million for a variety of vegetable seeds.
Additionally, it provided animal heads, medications, and biologics for livestock and poultry, as well as fingerlings and help from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources to the afflicted fishermen (BFAR).
The DA also allocated about PHP400 million for the quick reaction fund (QRF) for the rehabilitation of impacted areas and the Survival and Recovery (SURE) Loan Program of the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC), with loanable amounts of up to PHP25,000 due in three years at zero interest.
Local players in the fish industry have provided assurance that the supply of local fish is stable while the government continues to examine the harm that Paeng has caused to agriculture.
“We want the government to know that despite the severe winds, heavy rain, and flooding, our industry is still able to function. Despite (STS) Paeng having an impact on many fish farmers, it had no impact on our output. Without importing fish, we can still supply the entire nation, according to Engr. Mario Balazon, director of Taal Lake Aquaculture Alliance Incorporation (TLAAI).
Balazon was in agreement with Jon Juico, president of the Philippine Tilapia Association.
“We concur with Mario Balazon’s assertion from TLAAI. Here in Pampanga, there is not much damage. Since we don’t use nets here in Minalin, we are always ready. We use dikes, and typhoons don’t affect us as much as dams releasing water, he claimed.
“Due to imports, the cost of bangus and tilapia fell dramatically last year. Despite the fact that the cost of manufacturing each fish was PHP90, our local fishermen were obliged to sell their catch for only PHP60–PHP70. When the market was flooded with imports, it wreaked havoc on the sector, he continued.
Despite the harm caused by Paeng, according to Balazon, local aquaculture businesses and Filipino fishermen can meet domestic demand for seafood. He said that an estimated PHP22 million was lost to aquaculture in Talisay, Batangas, as a result of the weather disturbance.
“About 200 tons of fish broke free from the cages. The supply of fingerlings in Calauan, Laguna, was exhausted. However, we are optimistic that we will be able to replenish our supplies in three months and that this won’t disrupt the tilapia supply, he added.
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