MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Risa Hontiveros on Wednesday appealed for financial assistance and livelihood recovery for Filipino farmers in the face of rising agricultural losses due to Typhoon Tisoy and low prices of palay.
In a statement, the senator noted that months-long drought primarily affecting rice crop brought agricultural losses to P7.96 billion in April. She also pointed out that farmers are reeling from an eight-year low in the rice of palay as well as the effects of Typhoon Tisoy.
“Farmers face a very deprived Christmas due to a year of challenges. Not one of our farmers will celebrate Christmas happy, especially if they will not receive support for their livelihood this year,” she added in a mix of English and Filipino.
Hontiveros said that while authorities are assessing the total damage brought by “Tisoy” to the agricultural industry, it is crucial that the government provides the P12,000 aid that farmers had long asked for, and release the P6.5-billion cash assistance earlier promised to them.
House leaders said last November that thousands of rice farmers who suffered from low palay prices will receive P5,000 financial aid before Christmas.
The financial aid will come from the billions in revenues from higher tariffs imposed by Republic Act 11203, or the Rice Tarification Law, which was signed last February.
‘Tisoy’ agricultural damage
Hontiveros also called for immediate mobilization of calamity funds for local government units, especially for the agriculture and fishery industries.
“We need proper assessment of agricultural damage, and the provision of relief assistance and livelihood recovery in the immediate. This includes help in work or cash-for-work for those who cannot plant, and expanded credit, insurance and loan restricting,” she added in a mix of English and Filipino.
“We cannot delay nor be reckless with our assistance not let bureaucratic red tape get in the way. Let us not wait for another typhoon before we can give help,” Hontiveros stressed.
A News5 report stated that as of noon Wednesday, the Department of Agriculture pegged damages and losses in CALABARZON and Bicol Regions brought by “Tisoy” to P531.62 million.
It added that rice, corn and high value crops were most affected.
The typhoon affected 14,637 land hectares in the regions.
As of 12nn, damages and losses brought by Tisoy amount to P531.62M in CALABARZON and Bicol Region, affecting 3,808 farmers. The affected crops were rice, corn, and high value crops. @News5AKSYON@onenewsph
— Shyla Francisco (@ShylaFrancisco) December 4, 2019
Low price of palay
The STAR reported last month that prices of rice declined for more than eight months, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed.
In its regular update on palay, rice and corn prices, PSA said the average wholesale price of well-milled rice was P37.85 per kilogram as of the second week of October, 16 percent lower than the same period a year ago. Average retail price also decreased by 14.3 percent to P41.89 per kilo.
Credit belongs to : www.philstar.ca