AGRICULTURAL damage and losses caused by Typhoon “Quinta” (international name: “Molave”) and Super Typhoon “Rolly” (“Goni”) reached P4.56 billion, data from the Department of Agriculture (DA) showed.

355121 01 02 - ‘Quinta’, ‘Rolly’ leave P5-B agri damage
This handout photo taken and received on November 2, 2020 courtesy of Philippine Senator Bong Go shows an aerial view of destroyed houses in the island province of Catanduanes, in the aftermath of Typhoon Goni. (Photo by Handout / Philippine Senator Bong Go / AFP) 

The DA’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Operations Center said the typhoons had affected 77,958 farmers and 115,148 hectares of agricultural areas in Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Western Visayas and Eastern Visayas.

Total volume of production loss was at 262,539 metric tons (MT), affecting commodities such as rice, corn, high-value crops, fisheries, livestock, irrigation and agri-facilities, it added.

For Quinta, the total amount of damage and losses in agri-fisheries hit P2.56 billion, with 145,577 MT of volume loss, affecting 47,864 farmers and fisherfolk with 88,252 hectares of agricultural areas.

As for Typhoon Rolly, the total damage and losses climbed to P2 billion, affecting 30,094 farmers and 26,896 hectares of agricultural areas. Volume of production loss rose to 116, 962 metric tons

To date, DA said it had distributed a total of 4,263 bags of rice issued by the National Food Authority (NFA) to the affected farming families in the provinces of Marinduque, Albay, Camarines Norte, Catanduanes, Sorsogon and Cavite. Likewise, the agency has provided a total of 133,326 bags of rice seeds; 17,545 bags of corn seeds, and 1,980 kilos of assorted vegetables from DA Regional Field Offices.

These provinces also suffered from power outages, which the Department of Energy said might be restored by mid-December.

Power restoration

In a virtual briefing, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said the agency was encountering challenges in assessing the extent of damage to power facilities hit by the typhoons because these areas remain inaccessible at this time.

Hence, Cusi told reporters that it was “very difficult” for the Energy department to provide a “definite timeline” on when power supply will be fully restored.

Nonetheless, the Energy chief assured they are exerting all efforts to restore electricity services in typhoon-hit provinces just before the holiday season.

Energy Assistant Secretary Redentor Delola reported only the Tiwi Geothermal Power Plant and Bacman Geothermal Power Plant, which are some of the main power sources in the Bicol province, remain offline.

Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said the agency is targeting to energize the Bacman power plant by November 5 which he said entails “island operation in certain portions of Albay and Sorsogon but this requires a lot of technical coordination.”

“But for November 10, we are targeting Naga to Daraga,” he added.

Data from the National Electrification Administration (NEA) showed 11 municipalities under
First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative’s (Ficelco) still have no power. These are the towns of Bagamanoc, Baras, Bato, Caramoran, Gigmoto, Pandan, Panganiban, San Andres, San Miguel, Viga and Virac.

Citing estimates from the NEA, Cusi said electric cooperatives incurred P2.8 billion worth of damage to their power facilities but the amount excludes other facilities such as those operated by the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines.

NEA Deputy Administrator for Technical Services Artis Nikki Tortola, in the same briefing, said the agency has earmarked P100 million for a quick response fund to aid the affected power co-ops.

With reports from JORDEENE B. LAGARE

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