With the estimated damage of Typhoon Lando reaching P9 billion and P8 billion of which is on agriculture, former Food Security Secretary Kiko Pangilinan urges strong government support for more than 110, 000 farmers affected by the typhoon.
“Our farmers in the Typhoon Lando-ravaged areas need help from our government the most. With almost all their crops gone and their farms either flooded or covered with mud, our farmers will only be relying on the government for support. And the government should be able to help them in this time of great need,” said Pangilinan.
Almost 130,000 hectares of farm lands were affected by the typhoon. More than P917 million-worth of damage was caused on our irrigation facilities and the next cropping season will start already in November.
“We urge the fast-tracking and stepping up of repair and rehabilitation of damaged irrigation facilities. The next cropping season is fast-approaching and these facilities should be ready by then if we are to recover from this tragedy. But we also need to provide emergency employment for our farmers who need income the most while the rehabilitation and repair are still underway. We suggest that farmers affected by the typhoon be tapped to help the National Irrigation Administration in the repair and rehabilitation as replacement income,” Pangilinan added.
Of the P8 billion-damage on agriculture, nearly P6 billion are on palay after close to 400,000 metric tons were damaged by Lando. The National Food Authority has sought the approval of a P350 million supplemental budget for the procurement of storm-damaged palay.
“This will enable the NFA to buy at least 550,000 bags of palay that our farmers painstakingly tried to save from Lando. We urge the speedy approval of these funds as this subsidy will help our farmers a lot. The release of crop insurance is also crucial at this point as the farmers will need the implements to get back on their feet after this huge blow. A farmer even after a catastrophe will plant and plant again. Our government should be able to support them if we want to keep our farmers farming,” ended Pangilinan.