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Philippines: Damage from Ruby estimated at $22.4 million

Staff writer |
Tropical Storm Ruby's damage to agriculture was initially pegged at P1.02 billion ($22.4 million), the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.

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Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said that the initial figures on the damage brought by Ruby, with an international name of Hagupit, were much lower compared during Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), which struck most parts of the country in November last year.

Citing the report of Assistant Secretary Edilberto De Luna and Undersecretary Emerson Palad of DA Field Operations, he said that the estimated cost of damage covered infrastructure, 55,850 hectares of farmlands, and 56,090 metric tons of crops in Bicol, Western Visayas and Eastern Visayas regions.

The volume of palay production affected was at 48,054 metric tons; 7,550 tons for corn and 486 tons for high-value crops, all valued at P941.04 million. For fisheries, production losses amounted to P48.225 million, while damage inflicted to the livestock sector amounted to P809,550.

According to Alcala, damage on agriculture was worse during Yolanda because farmers had yet to harvest their crops.

For Typhoon Ruby, farmers were able to harvest mature crops even before the typhoon had its landfall, while fishermen were also able to secure their boats, following DA’s and other government agencies’ advisories, he added.

With regard to supply of fruits and vegetables for the holiday season, Alcala also assured the public that this will not be significantly affected as the top sources of fruits and vegetables such as Benguet and Nueva Vizcaya were not seriously affected by the typhoon.

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