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P17-M Agri damage caused by Mount Bulusan disturbance

MANILA, Philippines — The initial agricultural damage caused by Mount Bulusan’s phreatic eruption in Sorsogon has reached PHP16.86 million, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA).

As of noon, the DA reported that volcanic emissions had harmed over 380 hectares of land in the area, with rice farms accounting for 90.64 percent of the land, followed by high-value crops (HVC) accounting for 8.76 percent, and fisheries accounting for 0.59 percent.

Hundreds of farmers and fishermen were affected in three municipalities in Sorsogon, according to the DA.

“In the municipalities of Juban, Casiguran, and Irosin in Sorsogon, the DA Regional Field Office 5 has reported damage and losses for rice, lowland vegetables, and fisheries totaling Php 16.85 million, affecting 473 farmers and fishers and 389 hectares of agricultural areas with a volume of production loss of 695 metric tons,” the DA said.

According to preliminary estimates, 343 hectares of rice land in Sorsogon were damaged, resulting in a damaged crop of 686 metric tons worth PHP15.28 million.

A total of eight metric tons of high-value crops worth PHP1.48 million were also lost by the agricultural sector. A total of 1.7 metric tons of tilapia worth PHP100,000 was also thrown away.

Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture (DA) promised to help affected farmers and fishermen by distributing rice, corn, and other seedlings, as well as livestock and poultry drugs, survival and credit programs, indemnification through the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation, and the use of their quick response fund for rehabilitation.

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