Aid underway for farmers, fisherfolk affected by Taal: Agri chief

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 16 2020 03:36 PM | Updated as of Jan 16 2020 04:39 PM

Fishermen catch tilapia and bangus in MataasnaKahoy, Batangas on Jan. 15, 2020. Taal Volcano, which erupted 3 days prior, threatens the farm sector in the region. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Department of Agriculture said Thursday distributed P160 million in aid to farmers and fishermen affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano. 

These include fishery inputs and livelihood assistance. The DA will also provide trucks and vehicles to help evacuate animals and transport feeds and supplies, Agriculture Secretary Willam Dar said.

The DA said it was looking at two large farms to be used as evacuation centers for livestock. The agency will also provide medicines for the rescued animals. 

The Philippine Coconut Authority also allotted P1.9 million to affected coconut farmers, and will also provide 150,000 coconut seedlings as well as fertilizers, the DA said.
 
Damage to agriculture and fisheries from Taal's steam and ash eruption remains at P577.4 million, the DA said.

Batangas' coffee-growing industry was particularly hard hit. 

Authorities also said fish from Taal lake might not be safe to eat, but fruits and vegetables from affected farms could be eaten as long as these are properly washed.