The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas today urged the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to urgently release cash aid to farming families severely affected by successive typhoons. “The government must consider the immediate granting of P10,000 cash aid to typhoon-affected farmers. This amount is just a portion of their losses due to the recent typhoons,” according to KMP.
On top of the effects of the pandemic and several months of lockdown, farmers have to endure the calamitous effects of typhoons all-year-round.
“The successive typhoons Nika, Ofel, Pepito, and Quinta will result in millions in agriculture losses. Among the hardest hit are Bicol, CALABARZON, and Cagayan Valley regions — all considered as rice granaries. The damages in agriculture and fisheries are estimated at P225,384,082.17 in Camarines Sur and P60,903,865.60 in Sorsogon. In rice-producing Oriental Mindoro, almost 80 percent of agri crops were damaged. An estimate of P261-million in rice crops and some P253-million in banana crops were totally destroyed in Pinamalayan town.
“Aanihin na lang, nalubog pa sa baha at nawasak ng malakas na hangin at ulan ang mga palay at pananim ng mga magsasaka. Lugi na naman ang mga magbubukid,” says KMP chairperson Danilo Ramos. The typhoons hit Luzon landmass at the height of the October palay harvest season. The peasant group earlier expressed worry that the palay prices would further plunge due to the typhoons.
“While there was P9.1-billion worth of rice and corn crops harvested right before QuintaPH made landfall, the government, particularly the DA, must not undermine the effects and agri losses from successive typhoons. Immediate relief, rehabilitation efforts, and productions subsidies are necessary and must be provided to farmers,” Ramos said.
KMP said farmers and food producers need cash and subsidies more than loans. The Landbank must transform its agricultural loan to cash aid and subsidies,” Ramos said, referring to Landbank’s agricultural loan portfolio of P245-billion for farmers. In August, some P224.66-billion was loaned to farmers and P230.34-billion for the month of September. However, only P34.97-billion were lent to small farmers and fishers as well as cooperatives and farmers associations, rural financial institutions and other conduits. ###
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