Iloilo City – Severe Tropical Storm Paeng caused huge damage of no less than P419, 599,694.00 worth of damage to agriculture in the province of Iloilo.
In the recent report by the Provincial Agriculture Office, 218.97 hectares of corn land were affected. A total of 1,845.07 hectares of “High Value Crops” or HVC were also damaged. No less than 2,718 farmers were affected.
In the fisheries sector, the typhoon has caused damage on 540 fishing boats, 430 fishing gears, 391 fishponds, 290 seaweeds culture and 185 shellfish culture. No less than 1,836 fisher folks in 23 towns were affected.
At the national level, typhoon Paeng’s damage to agriculture has reached P 2.86 billion. This is one of the biggest damage in the sector alongside the present crisis faced by agriculture and the food sector.
PAMANGAS believes that this will be the very basis of price increases of agricultural products and the bankruptcy of farmers and fisher folks.
The group condemned Marcos’ refusal to declare the country under a state of calamity. Instead, it came up with Proclamation No. 84 which declared four regions under a state of calamity despite the fact that the typhoon wrought damage in 17 regions. The regions declared under a state of calamity are Calabarzon, Bicol, Western Visayas and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao or BARMM.
For PAMANGAS, this only shows that Marcos Jr has no appreciation of the farmers’ situation despite the fact that at present he is the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture.
Relief volunteer network Tulong Kabataan Western Visayas said that Marcos Jr. should stand up to the state’s responsibility to respond to and provide sufficient assistance to those affected by the typhoon.
The affected people are still waiting for relief assistance from the government.