‘Tisoy’ leaves P2-B worth of damage to PH agriculture — DA

Marje Pelayo   •   December 5, 2019   •   637

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) announced the overall damage left by Typhoon Tisoy to the country’s agriculture industry.

The DA said almost 21,000 farmers were economically displaced and about 47 hectares of farmland were destroyed by the typhoon.

Among the areas hardest hit were CALABARZON, Bicol, Central Luzon, MIMAROPA, and Western Visayas Region.

Specifically, mostly damaged were high-value crops such as palay and corn as well as agricultural facilities.

The DA said they are ready to distribute the cash assistance to farmers and fishermen amounting to P181-million.

In other regions, more than 14,000 sacks of palay seeds are ready for distribution to the affected farmers. – MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

DA urges households to engage in urban farming amid ECQ

Marje Pelayo   •   April 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) strongly recommends urban farming as a way to spend quarantine time at home.

This is the main objective of DA’s ‘Plant, Plant, Plant Program’ spearheaded by Agriculture Secretary William Dar which aims to ensure food sufficiency during emergency situations amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) health crisis.

The program encourages private seed and seedling companies to join the project and help promote urban farming in Metro Manila.

The local government of Quezon City, for example, has set up a demo farm within the City Hall compound where a variety of vegetables are grown.

The area can be accessed through Elliptical Road and Kalayaan Avenue.

The facility is also giving away seeds and seedlings to residents of Quezon City who are interested to start vegetable gardening at home.

Garden Caretaker Ruben Marcellana said some vegetables in the demo farm are ready for harvest.

Growers may enjoy a fresh harvest in just a period of one month once they plant the seedlings.

Magmula sa seeds, one month po siya (From a seed, it takes one month)” he said.

Ang ginagamit naming soil is organic din (The soil we use is also organic),” he added.

Due to limited space, urban farming can be done on rooftops, in the garage or by the window using hanging pots.

Growing vegetables at home will cut time spent in public markets especially since movement is limited under ECQ. MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

Damage to agriculture due to Taal eruption hits P3-B

Marje Pelayo   •   January 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Over P3-B worth of agricultural products have been damaged on the first week of Taal volcano’s eruption, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA).

So far, the eruption has affected 15, 790 hectares of land and a total of 1,923 animal heads with an overall estimated value of P3.06 billion, a big leap from the previous report of P577-M.

The latest report incorporated additional damage in Laguna and updated reports from Batangas and Cavite which include high-value crops that were destroyed namely coffee, cacao, pineapple, assorted fruits and vegetables, rice, coconut, as well as the provinces’ fisheries.

The DA’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resuorces (BFAR) and Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), however, is continuously assessing the affected areas for the impact of volcanic activities on marine life in Taal Lake and animals in the volcano region.

Based on the latest report, tilapia and bangus (milkfish) culture incurred losses of up to P1.6 billion worth; making fisheries the most affected commodity in terms of damage and losses.

Typhoon Tisoy-hit members, pensioners can now avail of calamity loan – SSS

Robie de Guzman   •   December 27, 2019

Children frolic in floodwater in Naga city, Camarines Sur province, Philippines, 03 December 2019. EPA-EFE/JONNEL MARIBOJOC

MANILA, Philippines – Members of the Social Security System (SSS) who were affected by typhoon Tisoy may now apply for the Calamity Assistance Package (CAP) loan.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora Ignacio said members and pensioners in Southern Luzon and Visayas hit by Tisoy may now avail of the calamity loan, direct house repair and improvement loan as well the advanced three-month pension program.

She added that the CAP program, which has a total fund allocation of more than P614 million, covers members and pensioners residing in areas declared under state of calamity by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

These areas include Batangas City; Mabitac, Laguna; Provinces of Quezon, Cavite, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque; Corcuera, Romblon and San Fernando in Romblon; and Province of Northern Samar.

“The CAP includes a loan assistance program which is a separate loan window from the regular salary loan,” Ignacio said in a statement Monday.

“Members can borrow up to P40,000 in calamity loan depending on their average last 12 monthly salary credit. The financial assistance is also open to pensioners who can avail three months advance of their monthly pension. Moreover, members can also apply for direct housing repair and improvement loan,” she added.

Loan application for Tisoy-hit SSS members is open from December 20, 2019 to March 19, 2020.

“Members who would like to avail of the Calamity Assistance Package are required to be registered in the My.SSS application to facilitate their billing requirements in the future,” Ignacio said.

The SSS Chief, however, clarified that members who still have outstanding loans under the Loan Restructuring Program (LRP) and previous CAPs, as well as those receiving pensions for total permanent disability and retirement, and those who have availed of the Pension Loan Program (PLP) are not qualified to avail of the calamity loan.

The SSS said the calamity loan is payable in two years in equal monthly installments with an annual interest rate of 10 percent and one percent monthly penalty for late payments.

To eliminate additional expenses on the part of member-borrowers, SSS waived the one percent service fee, it added.

Aside from the calamity loan, the SSS said that members with damaged properties can also avail of the direct house repair and improvement loan with six months moratorium in amortization and interest payments.

“Members can borrow up to a maximum of P1 million under this program which will run for one year or until 20 December 2020,” Ignacio said.

“To qualify, the applicant must not be more than 60 years old and with at least 24 monthly contributions, of which three contributions were remitted within the last 12-month period prior to the month of filing,” she added.

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