The death toll reached 39; the damage to agriculture is close to P2 billion

MANILA, Philippines – The death toll from Severe Tropical Storm Maring has risen to 39, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported yesterday.

The NDRMMC said 22 of the reported deaths had been verified.

Fourteen were recorded in Ilocos Sur, seven in Pangasinan, nine in Benguet, five in Palawan, two in Cagayan and one each in Ilocos Norte and La Union.

Sixteen people were reported missing while three were injured.

The NDRRMC said the storm affected 155,156 families or 611,705 people yesterday.

Damage to agriculture climbed to P1.74 billion, with 56,718 farmers and fishermen affected, according to the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Operation Center of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

The loss of production was at 91,422 metric tons, with 68,137 hectares of agricultural areas affected.

Affected goods include rice, corn, high -value crops, cattle and fisheries.

The DA said 28,952 hectares of rice were harvested in Ilocos and Cagayan Valley worth P2.08 billion.

At least 55,654 MT of maize on 13,776 hectares worth P779.15 million were also saved.

State of disaster in La Union

In La Union, the Provincial Council passed a resolution declaring a state of disaster.

The initial damage to agriculture in the province was at P369.2 million; livestock, P5.1 million, and infrastructure, P63.1 million.

The council’s disaster risk reduction and management council said 259 barangays and 38,812 families or 135,881 people were affected by the typhoon as of October 14.

Two were injured and three were reported missing.

The towns of Rosario, San Juan, Bauang, Sudipen, Tubao, Pugo, Naguilian, Sto. Tomas, Agoo, Bangar, Bagulin, Santol, San Gabriel, Luna, Bacnotan, Balaoan and Burgos were the most affected by the unrest at the time.

Many barangays experienced flooding and power outages.

Declaring a state of disaster will ensure the use of rapid response and related funds for relief and rehabilitation efforts.

The Dagupan city council in Pangasinan had earlier declared a state of calamity amid widespread flooding.

At least 165 families were initially reported missing.

P1.5-B assistance to farmers, fishermen

The DA said it released P1.5 billion in aid to farmers and fishermen affected by the typhoon.

The DA said P650 million has been allocated for emergency loans under the SURE Calamity Loan Assistance program through the Agricultural Credit Policy Council.

“The affected households can borrow P20,000 each at zero interest, without collateral and repayable within 10 years,” the DA said.

The agency said P172 million has been allocated under the rapid response fund to rehabilitate the affected areas in the Cordilleras, Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Western Visayas, Central Visayas and Soccsksargen.

At least P370 million worth of crop insurance has been made available by Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. to compensate the affected farmers in Luzon. – Eva Visperas

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