Bulusan eruption’s agri damage stands initially at P17-M

LEGAZPI CITY — The initial to agriculture following the recent phreatic eruption of Mount Bulusan in Sorsogon has now reached P16.86 million, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA).

The DA said almost 380 hectares of land have been affected by volcanic emissions in the area, where 90.64% of the lands are  rice farms; followed by high-value crops (HVC), accounting for  8.76%; and fisheries, 0.59%.

Hundreds of farmers and fishermen in three municipalities of Sorsogon have been adversely affected by the eruption. DA-5 Regional Office said “damage and losses for rice, lowland vegetables, and fisheries amounted to some P16.85 million, affecting 473 farmers and fishers and 389 hectares of agricultural areas with a volume production loss at 695 metric tons in the municipalities of Juban, Casiguran, and Irosin in Sorsogon.”

Initial figures showed that 343 hectares of rice land in Sorsogon were damaged, resulting in 686-metric tons of damaged harvest worth P15.28 million.

The province’s agricultural sector also lost eight metric tons of high-value crops, valued at P1.48 million. Around 1.7 metric tons of tilapia worth P100,000 have also been wasted. DA said.

The agency, meanwhile, assured affected farmers and fishers of assistance through the distribution of rice, corn, and other seedlings; drugs for livestock and poultry; survival and credit programs; indemnification under the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation; and the utilization of their quick response fund for rehabilitation. (With PNA reports)