BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – Initial damage to agriculture, fisheries and irrigation infrastructure in the Philippines after Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) has reached more than P7 billion, Agriculture Sec. Proceso Alcala said.
The sugar industry lost P1,210,969,409 to Typhoon Yolanda, according to a report from the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA).
Despite the damage, Alcala, who attended the Senate hearing Thursday on strengthening of the Philippine sugar industry, said there were enough supplies of rice for devastated areas, stressing they had more than 3 million bags for deployment.
Alcala said there should be a need for the people to exercise more discipline for the orderly distribution of assistance, adding that even those who want to give aid from Metro Manila are afraid that they might be mobbed by the people.
“If only half of the discipline of the Japanese who were hit by tsunamis was exercised in Yolanda-hit areas, distribution of relief gods would go faster,” he said.
Fisheries and fishing boats took a huge hit, Alcala added. He said 1,500 small boats with 5-horsepower motors would be allocated to fisherfolk who lost their vessels to Yolanda.
To address the loss of the egg supply to the Visayas from Yolanda-devastated Bantayan, Alcala said the Department of Agriculture (DA) is tapping logistical support for supply from Bicol, Sorsogon, and Batangas.
Although the sugar industry lost P1,210,969,409 to the typhoon, according to a report from the SRA, Alacala said it is minimal because sugarcane is a resilient crop.
SRA chief Regina Martin said two sugar mills damaged by the typhoon – Bogo-Medellin Milling Co. Inc. in Cebu and Ormoc Sugar Co. in Ormoc – will not be able to resume milling cane in their areas for some time. Martin assured that the country will have enough sugar supply despite the destruction of 2.79 percent of its production, equivalent to 931,514 kilograms of sugar. – Rappler.com
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