By Priam Nepomuceno

FLOODED. Residents buy goods from a stall inside the flooded Guagua Public Market in Pampanga on July 30, 2023. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council on Tuesday (Aug. 1, 2023) said the amount of damage to agriculture and infrastructure caused by the Typhoon Egay and the southwest monsoon has reached over PHP5.4 billion. (PNA photo by Joan Bondoc)

MANILA – The amount of damage to agriculture and infrastructure caused by Typhoon Egay and the southwest monsoon (habagat) has amounted to over PHP5.4 billion.

In its situation report on Tuesday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said infrastructure damage has reached PHP3.51 billion in Ilocos, Cagayan Valley and Calabarzon regions.

Meanwhile, agriculture damage was estimated at PHP1.96 billion in Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

Some 41,591 houses were reported damaged while the number of affected families estimated at 668,974 which is equivalent to 2,452,738 persons from 4,164 barangays.

Of these, 13,718 families or 50,467 persons are being aided in 736 evacuation centers while 63, 066 families or 262,008 individuals are being aided outside.

The Office of Civil Defense earlier said that the affected families are a combination of those displaced and those not needing transfer or removal from their residences.

It cited as example families whose source of livelihood was affected but not needing evacuation.

The death toll stood at 25 — two of whom have been confirmed while 23 are being validated.

Some 52 persons were also reported injured — 39 of whom have been confirmed.

The NDRRMC is also confirming reports of 13 missing persons.

Agri losses

Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture (DA) reported that some 123,274 farmers and fisherfolk in the Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Soccsksargen and Caraga were affected by bad weather.

A total of 147,063 hectares were also affected while the total volume of production loss has reached 86,975 metric tons (MT).

It added that affected commodities include rice, corn, high-value crops, livestock and poultry and fisheries.

Some farm and fishery infrastructures and equipment have also sustained damages, with the amount still being validated.

The Regional Field Offices (RFOs) are assessing the impacts caused by Egay in the agriculture and fishery sector.

The DA, meanwhile, said the following forms of assistance are available for distribution to affected farmers and fishers: 111,873 bags of rice seeds, 14,426 bags of corn seeds and 2,582 kilograms of assorted vegetable seeds from the regions affected by Egay; drugs and biologics for livestock and poultry;

Also available for the affected fisherfolk are PHP62,000 worth of tilapia, carp and catfish fingerlings to affected fisherfolk from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.

Other available assistance for the affected farmers and fisherfolk is PHP200 million worth of Survival and Recovery (SURE) Loan Program from the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) with loanable amount of up to PHP25,000 payable in three years at zero interest; and PHP500 million worth of Quick Response Fund (QRF) for the rehabilitation of affected areas. (with Ferdinand Patinio/PNA)