MANILA, Philippines – The cost of damage brought by the heavy monsoon rains to agriculture and fisheries was at P167 million as of Thursday evening, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said.
Alcala, in an interview on radio dzMM on Friday morning, said the figure may still increase as officials have yet to include data from flood-hit Pampanga.
He said the damage sustained by Luzon's agriculture industry will not affect the supply of rice and vegetables.
Alcala also assured that the recent devastation will not affect the government's goal of rice sufficiency by 2013.
He also warned entrepreneurs against overpricing.
According to Alcala, the affected agricultural products have a strong chance of recovery since they were still in vegetative state when they were inundated by floods.
The Department of Agriculture, nevertheless, will be distributing seedlings to the affected farmers so they can recover from their losses.