IN NUMBERS: Helping farmers, fishers 2 years after Haiyan
MANILA, Philippines – Farmers and fishers bore the brunt of Typhoon Yolanda’s (international name Haiyan) devastation when it tore through the central Philippines two years ago.
Two years since Yolanda, what has been done by the Department of Agriculture (DA) to help farmers and fishers get back on their feet?
Rappler used 3 sets of data to assess recent achievements. The first looks at the baseline figures of agricultural damage reported by the DA on December 16, 2013 or roughly a month after Yolanda, when most of the damage reports had already come in.
The second set is from an accomplishment report by the DA as of January 7, 2014 or roughly a year after Yolanda. The last set is based on a DA report obtained by Rappler showing its achievements as of October 15, 2015.
The numbers show that while much has been done in the last two years, significant gaps remain.
For instance, only 12% of debris-affected farmland has been cleared. Out of hundreds of thousands of farmers who lost their crops, only over 2,000 have been given insurance premiums to cover the loss.
But the government was able to exceed its targets in providing fertilizer for farmers and boats for fishermen. It was also able to clear and de-silt almost the entire length of irrigation canals choked by debris or collapsed by flood waters.
One possible reason for the still-large gaps could be the slow release of funds for the agricultural sector. A report by a civic watchdog shows that only a 4th of the funding needed to rehabilitate the sector has been released by the Department of Budget and Management.
The group concluded that the slow release was due to the limited capacity of agricultural government agencies like the DA to implement their programs, attributed to a lack of personnel.
The government, through the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery, has allocated around P20 billion to rebuild the agricultural sector. (READ: Super Typhoon Yolanda recovery halfway done –NEDA)
The Philippine government aims to fully rehabilitate Yolanda-hit regions by 2017. – Rappler.com