Rice supply still sufficient despite typhoons: Agriculture chief

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 15 2020 04:21 PM

Scenes from Tuguegarao along the city’s main road towards the capitol as the area experiences floods in the wake of rains brought by Typhoon Ulysses on November 14, 2020. Chiara Zambrano, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The Department of Agriculture (DA) said Sunday the country's rice supply remained sufficient even after a series of typhoons ravaged the country in the past weeks.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the damage caused by the past typhoons to the rice supply was only equivalent to 6 days.

"Pero mayroon tayo imbentaryo na 98 days. So sumatutal, we still have 92 days na inventory na rice, enough for the next 3 months or so, even beyond the year," Dar said in a press briefing.

The typhoons caused around P10 billion in damage to agriculture after devastating several regions, leaving some fields inundated, Dar said.

Emergency employment

In the same briefing, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said he authorized Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba and Isabela Governor Rodolfo Albano III to hire workers that would clean up the provinces in the aftermath of severe flooding.

Mamba and Albano are allowed to hire 5,000 people each under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program, Bello said.

Floodwaters inundated large parts of Cagayan and Isabela in the aftermath of Typhoon Ulysses.

Rainfall from nearby provinces and water release from Magat Dam caused the "unprecedented" floods in the provinces, local officials said.

Before Ulysses, Rolly, the world's strongest storm this year, brought strong winds and torrential rains to Luzon, leaving at least 25 dead.