MANILA — Damage and losses in the agriculture sector due to typhoon Karding have reached some P1.29 billion, the Department of Agriculture said on Tuesday.
Areas severely affected by the typhoon included the Cordilleras, Ilocos region, Cagayan Valley, Calabarzon, Bicol, and the country's rice granary, Central Luzon, the agency said.
It said Karding affected 82,158 farmers and fisherfolk and 141,312 hectares of agricultural areas, and caused 72,231 metric tons of product loss.
"Affected commodities include rice, corn, high value crops, livestock and poultry, and fisheries. These values are subject to validation," said the agriculture department.
The DA said it would provide assistance to affected farmers and fishers, including some P53 million worth of rice, corn and vegetable seeds, and P2.45 million worth of animals and drugs for livestock and poultry.
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) will also provide fingerlings and fishing paraphernalia to affected fisherfolk.
The DA added that farmers and fishers could take a loan of up to P25,000 payable in 3 years with zero interest under the Survival and Recovery (SURE) program.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) earlier pegged the damage to agriculture at P160 million.
The country's economic growth target for the year remains achievable despite the damage caused by Karding, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said earlier Tuesday.
The Philippines is regularly ravaged by storms, with scientists warning they are becoming more powerful as the world gets warmer because of climate change.
After an "explosive intensification" in wind speeds, Karding on Sunday made landfall about 100 kilometers northeast of Manila, before weakening to a typhoon as it crossed a mountain range, coconut plantations and rice fields.
State weather bureau PAGASA on Tuesday said parts of Luzon and the Visayas would continue experiencing rains due to the southwest monsoon and the trough or extension of Karding.
— With a report from Agence France-Presse