P500-M for Bicol agri, fisheries rehab

Author: DA-AFID | 28 December 2016

President Rodrigo R. Duterte on December 26 approved the allocation of an initial P500 million for rehabilitation efforts for the agriculture and fisheries industry damaged by typhoon Niña.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said P300 million of the rehabilitation fund would come from the Office of the President and P200 million from the DA.

About P55 million of the fund will be used for the immediate rehabilitation of the abaca industry in Catanduanes, the release of rice seeds and fertilizers for about 5,000 hectares of rice land, and repair of fisheries infrastructure damaged by the typhoon.

The partial submission of Niña’s damage on agriculture and fisheries in the Bicol region alone is P4 billion.

Piñol said typhoon Nina damaged 85% of the standing abaca plant in Catanduanes province, which has 33,000 hectares planted to abaca and is considered the biggest single producer of the natural fiber in the world today.

Catanduanes Governor Joseph Cua reported that a total of 27,936 hectares was heavily damaged. Catanduanes’ farmers earn about P100 million from abaca annually.

 During his visit to typhoon-ravaged Camarines Sur, President Duterte urged local residents to be more resilient by building stronger houses and becoming more prepared for natural disasters.

“I hope you could recover your bearing,” the President told the crowd, which gathered in front of the Camarines Sur Provincial Capitol even as he urged local officials to be conscious of the threats of climate change.

“This is a reality which we must accept.”

“Do not despair. Government will help. Life must go on. Recover your bearings,” he told the crowd. (DA-OSEC)

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