MANILA, Philippines - The latest tally of agricultural and infrastructure damage caused by Typhoon Pablo (international codename: Bopha) has risen to P34.3 billion, with damage to banana production accounting for bulk at P22 billion.
In its December 21 update, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported the following breakdown:
Nine bridges and one road remain impassable while 29 areas still experience power interruptions and six more suffer water disruptions, the NDRRMC said.
In early December, 'Pablo' hit major agricultural areas in Mindanao, especially areas that host corporate farms for banana and other crops.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala cited these in a December 21 media briefing when he explained that the export commitments of Filipino cavendish banana producers to United States would be postponed to fulfill the obligations to other export markets, such as Japan and Korea.
"I don't think it will push through," Alcala said, referring to the 3,000 metric tons of cavendish bananas that Dole Philippines was expected to ship to the US this 2012.
He said Dole's production areas in Bukidnon province were badly damaged during the onslaught of the typhoon. Banana growers in unaffected areas were then asked to augment the surviving produce to cover at least 50% of the remaining export obligations for the year.
About 50,096 hectares of bananas in affected areas, mostly in Compostela Valley and Budkidnon, has brought production losses to 1.91 million metric tons.
As of December 19, damage to palay was valued at P476.21 million, while damage to corn was valued at P1.64 billion.
Production loss in coconut was valued at P1.12 billion. Damage to irrigation was placed at P1.18 billion.
Alcala said that despite the damage incurred on palay, the government is still expected to reach the production target of 18.4 million MT for the year because most of the affected areas are still in the vegetative stage with chances of recovery.
Alcala said palay damage caused by the typhoon will also not severely affect palay output in the first quarter of 2013. - Rappler.com
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