Deforestation the culprit? Mindanao floods affect 1,000 hectares of agri land

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 18 2017 05:26 PM

Over a thousand hectares of agricultural land have been damaged by the flooding that hit Northern Mindanao on Monday, based on initial figures shared by Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol Wednesday.

Citing an initial report by Director Carlene Collado of their regional office, Piñol revealed that in Malaybalay City and Impasugong in Bukidnon, 147 and 2.5 hectares of corn were damaged respectively.

In Tudela, Misamis Occidental, 112 hectares of rice ready for harvesting were damaged; in Plaridel, 630 hectares of rice newly transplanted and two hectares of vegetables were also damaged; and in Oroquieta City, 128 hectares of rice in the tillering stage were also damaged.

Reported damage covered 1021.5 hectares so far, pending reports from Misamis Oriental and Lanao del Norte.

Piñol said the region is ready with interventions in form of the 6,200 bags of rice seeds, vegetable seeds, and corn seeds. He said he will make a quick visit to Northern Mindanao to assess the damage for himself. 

He also directed the National Coordinating Committee of the four agencies involved in environment and agriculture to "take a look at the situation in Northern Mindanao," noting that prior to Monday's devastation, Cagayan de Oro was also badly hit by Typhoon Sendong in 2011.

"We are looking at deforestation and the unabated cutting down of trees in the mountains of Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, and Misamis Oriental as the possible cause of these flash floods," he said.

"So we are taking a look at the situation not only in the context of providing immediate intervention but also long-term solution," he added.