Loren Legarda

Legarda bats for agri support after over P1B losses from Egay

July 30, 2023 PS Jun M. Sarmiento 217 views

SENATE President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda called for support for the country’s agriculture sector after super typhoon Egay (international name: Doksuri) left over P1 billion worth of damages in agricultural products.

In its situation bulletin issued 2:00 pm Saturday, July 29, the Department of Agriculture (DA) reported that typhoon Egay has left P1.36 billion worth of damage to agriculture, with a volume of production loss of 62,259 metric tons, affecting 98,969 hectares of agricultural land and 91,268 farmers.

The damaged commodities include rice, corn, high-value crops, livestock and poultry, and fisheries.

As DA reported, the increase in the value of damages is due to the updated reports from the Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, and Western Visayas.

Antique, Legarda’s home province, has sustained P5.5 million losses in rice crops due to the typhoon, the Office of the Provincial Agriculture said Friday.

“We need to do better in helping our farmers deal with typhoons and other disasters,” Legarda said as she encouraged assistance efforts to be crop-specific, site-level, and continuous.

She further said that there is a need to look at systemic and ecosystem-based resilience measures adding that the ecosystem damage contributes to lessening the sector’s capacity to rebound from disasters.

Legarda furthered that while the government is always ready to provide emergency relief assistance for farmers, they need help with resilient varieties to plant, advice on better timing, and ecosystem-based protections like windbreaks and watersheds.

She strongly supports technological advancements and science-based analysis as a key method to develop a modern, resilient, and sustainable agriculture industry to provide the most appropriate, specific, and well-directed support pre and post-disaster.

“We have to stop the cycle of disaster and poverty in agriculture,” Legarda stressed.

“Our farmers deserve vital and proper execution of the responsive, strong legislative support, which will make our agriculture sector less vulnerable. All policies and programs must be climate-resilient, restorative, have rationalized value chains that lead to less waste, and ensure a better life for the backbone of our society – our farmers and fisherfolk,” she said.

Typhoon Egay left the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) Thursday morning. However, another tropical storm, Falcon, with the international name Khanun, entered PAR at 11:00 pm on Friday. Its center was estimated at 1,315 east of Central Luzon at 10:00 am on Saturday.

Falcon is the country’s sixth tropical cyclone this year and the third for July.