MANILA - The Department of Agriculture said on Tuesday it is preparing for the impact of typhoon Mangkhut, which is expected to hit northern Luzon later this week.
Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol said given Mangkhut's strength, potential damage to rice crops may reach P7 billion covering the Ilocos region, Cagayan Valley and the Cordillera, under a worst-case scenario. Damage to corn crops could hit P6.2 billion, Piñol said.
But Pinol said Mangkhut will not adversely affect rice supply because the country has already imported 1.3 miilion metric tons of rice, while some areas in Bulacan and Nueva Ecija have already started harvesting.
“With the ongoing harvest now and with the arrival of the imported rice medyo stable na tayo October, November," Piñol said.
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said typhoon will also affect the supply of fish in wet markets in areas affected by the typhoon.
“If there is typhoon, if there is rain, there’s no fish to be caught," said BFAR director Eduardo Gongona.
Meanwhile, Gongona said that they are now processing the importation of 17,000 tons of galunggong or round scad from China and Vietnam, which are expected to arrive this month.
The BFAR expects fish supply to remain tight until February because of the lean months and the closed fishing season, which is meant to allow fish stocks to recover.