Quake damage to agri infra in CAR, Ilocos at ₧263M

The total damage and losses to agriculture-related facilities in two Northern Luzon regions due to the recent 7.0-magnitude earthquake has climbed to P263 million, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA).

“Damage and losses have been reported due to the 7.0-magnitude earthquake in the Cordillera Administrative Region [CAR] and Ilocos Region amounting to P263.0 million,” the DA Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Operations Center (DA-DRRM OpCen) said in its fifth bulletin report.

“These include irrigation systems, farm-to-market roads, and farm structures,” the DA-DRRM OpCen added.

The DA-DRRM OpCen said as of August 1, there has been no crop damage reported due to the earthquake.

The DA-DRRM OpCen said the DA Regional Field Office (RFO) in CAR reported that 39 irrigation systems and five farm-to-market roads (FMRs) were damaged or unoperational “due to erosion and cracks on concrete structures.”

The damaged irrigation systems and FMRs would require clearing and repair to restore their operational status, according to the DA-DRRM OpCen.

“Based on the National Irrigation Administration’s [NIA] assessment conducted by various regional officers, 2 [National Irrigation Systems] NIS and 24 [Communal irrigation Systems] CIS/projects in CAR and 4 NIS and 24 CIS in Region 1 are damaged,” it said.

“Moreover, no damage was observed in Pantabangan and Magat dam based on initial assessment. These values are subject to validation,” it added.

The DA-DRRM OpCen said the transport of food and agricultural commodities from the affected regions to key consuming areas in Luzon have remained unhampered despite the impact of the earthquake.

“The trading volume remained within the normal average volume traded for the month. Furthermore, there are no reported irregularities or drastic changes on the prices and volume of agricultural commodities, especially on vegetables,” it added.

The DA-DRRM OpCen said the DA-CAR RFO mobilized two Kadiwa trucks to sell 4.36 metric tons [MT] of highland vegetables and other food items at “affordable” prices to affected municipalities in CAR.

The DA-DRRM OpCen added that the Kadiwa store has already served at least 1,455 households to date.

“BFAR-CAR and DA RFO I also sent Kadiwa trucks with 2.00 MT fish and fish products, and other lowland commodities, in coordination with the Agricultural Program Coordinating Office-Abra and Office of the Provincial Agriculturist,” it said.

“Also, DA RFO III is conducting an arrangement with DA RFO CAR for the delivery of at least 50 cavans of rice,” it added.

The DA-DRRM OpCen said the National Food Authority’s (NFA) rice buffer stock remains ample to supply relief operations in earthquake-affected areas of CAR, Regions 1, 2 and 3.

“NFA ensures that a warehouse is open to cater the needs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development [DSWD], LGUs, institutions and other relief agencies. As of July 30, 2022, NFA has issued a total of 145 bags for relief operations,” it said.

The DA-DRRM OpCen said the DA is continuously coordinating with concerned national government agencies, local government units and other DRRM-related offices for the earthquake impact as well as “available resources for interventions and assistance.”