Typhoon Ompong to hurt agri sector by P14B
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said an estimated 1.2 million hectares of farms planted to rice and corn which are about to be harvested may be affected if Typhoon Ompong (International Name: Mangkhut) continues on its course and slams into Northern Luzon by tomorrow.
For the first time, the Department of Agriculture (DA) came up with a projection as to how much it expects a typhoon could damage the farm sector.
In a worst case scenario, the DA estimates that as much as P14 billion worth of damage could be felt in the agriculture sector alone.
“The Field Operations Office of the Department of Agriculture projected that in a worst case scenario rice crops some of which are ready for harvest in the Cordillera Region, Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley could suffer up to P7 billion in damages. In a worst case scenario, an estimated 893,000 hectares of rice farms in the four regions will be affected by Typhoon Ompong,” Piñol said.
Also in a worst case scenario, an estimated 483,000 hectares of corn fields could be affected with a projected crop loss amounting to P6.2 billion.
“The DA Field Offices in the four regions have been advised to activate their disaster monitoring offices and operate on a 24-hour basis to monitor the effect of the typhoon. The regional offices were also directed to prepare food supplies to be distributed to affected farmers in the aftermath of the typhoon,” Piñol further said.
The Pagasa yesterday reported that Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) was spotted 2,255 kilometers east of Southern Luzon.
Typhoon Ompong, reportedly the most powerful typhoon to hit Northern Luzon in recent years, packs maximum sustained winds of up to 150 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 185 kph. It was moving westward at 35 kph.