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DA forms Task Force to assess Region 10 storm damage

Author: DA-AFID | 18 January 2017

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol has formed a Task Force to conduct an assessment of damage caused by massive flash floods from heavy rains in Northern Mindanao which he said were apparently caused by deforestation of mountains in the provinces of Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental and Misamis Oriental.

In a press briefing with the Malacanang Press Corps in Malacanang, Piñol said that initially, the Department of Agriculture is distributing 6,200 bags of rice, corn and vegetable seeds to farmers in the three provinces affected by the heavy rains which caused flash floods that inundated both urban and rural areas in Northern Mindanao the other day, resulting in massive damage to property and agricultural areas.

“The country is facing challenging times in view of climate change. In fact just yesterday (January 17) we received word from northern Mindanao that flash floods caused a lot of devastation and damage not only to property and lives but also to agriculture. In the face of this problem, the Department of Agriculture is focusing on its ability to be able to adapt to climate change,” Secretary Piñol said.

The DA Secretary said he would visit Northern Mindanao on Tuesday to personally assess the damage to agricultural areas in the region, but noted that based on the initial report from DA Regional Director Carlene Collado, the damage wrought by the heavy floods affected and damaged 147 hectares of corn in four barangays in Malaybalay City and 2.5 hectares of corn in Impasugong, both in Bukidnon province; and 112 hectares of rice ready for harvest in Tudela, 630 hectares newly transplanted rice in Plaridel,  and 128 hectares of rice in tillering stage in Oroquieta City, all in Misamis Occidental province.

There are no reports yet of the extent of the damage in the provinces of Misamis Oriental and Lanao del Norte, he noted.

He expressed alarm at the massive flash floods that occurred during heavy rains in the region the other day, saying the government would undertake long-term measures to prevent its repeat.

“We’re looking at the deforestation and unabated cutting down of trees in the mountains of Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental and Misamis Oriental as the possible cause of these flash floods. So were taking a look not just in the context of intervention but also long term solutions,” the DA Secretary stressed. ### (photo credits: SunStar.com.ph)

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