Mayon eruption destroys P94M worth of agricultural crops
ALBAY, Philippines – Almost P94 million worth of agricultural crops have been damaged since Mayon volcano erupted two weeks ago, the provincial agricultural officer of Albay said on Thursday, January 26.
Che Rebeta, provincial agricultural officer, said the initial estimate estimate of P93,916,916 in damage is expected to increase, as the volcano is expected to spew out materials in the next few days before a possible big explosion.
She said 5,172 farmers are now without income.
“We are facing economic disaster as numerous farmers are without income. Their crops are badly affected by the volcano’s eruption, with less chances of recovery, except for rice, with 50% probable recovery,” Rebeta said.
She said at least 3,516 hectares of rice plantation are affected, with a value of P73,345,150 in the municipalities of Guinobatan, Polangui, Camalig, Daraga, and Santo Domingo. For corn, 291.3 hectares of plantation are affected, with a value of P7,573,696. For vegetables and root crops, the reported damage amounted to P19,814,070.
The agricultural office is still awaiting report on damage to coconut plantations.
To assist the affected farmers in Albay, the Department of Agriculture regional office provided P64 million in livelihood opportunities for farmers. They can be trained in masonry, dress making, carpentry, and weaving under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.
Paul Alanis, senior research specialist at the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, said on Thursday Mayon's activity would continue, as the volcano is continuously recharging even after a series of explosions in the last two weeks.
There are 19,407 families or 74,224 persons temporarily housed in 74 school buildings that serve as evacuation camps. Among the affected municipalities are Daraga, Guinobatan, Camalig, Santo Domingo, Malilipot, and Bacaca.
Among Albay's 3 cities, Legazpi has the biggest number of evacuees (3,691 families or 13,605 persons), followed by Tabaco (1,569 famlies or 6,244 persons), and Ligao (1,313 families or 5,618 persons). – Rappler.com