Initial Mayon crop damage, loss reach P1.56M

MANILA -- Mayon Volcano's eruption has so far affected 112 hectares of agricultural areas, resulting in production loss and damages to high-value crops, amounting PHP1.56 million.

Such loss and damages consisted of 35 metric tons (MT) of vegetables valued at PHP1.08 million and 6 MT of fiber crops, particularly abaca, worth PHP0.48 million, the Department of Agriculture (DA) reported Friday.

DA Field Programs Operational Planning Division chief Christopher Morales updated Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel PiAol of this in a memorandum dated Jan. 25, 2018.

Citing reports from DA's Region V office, Morales said among the affected vegetables were ampalaya (bitter gourd), Baguio beans, eggplant, okra, pole sitao, sayote, chili, tomato, and upo (bottle gourd).

He said such crops were in the fruiting stage.

The loss and damages also already affected 141 farmers, noted Morales' memorandum, which DA released to media Friday afternoon (Jan. 26).

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) this week raised Mayon Volcano's alert level from 3 to 4.

This was with the warning of a possible hazardous eruption, which it considers imminent because of Mayon's "intense unrest."

In an earlier memorandum dated Jan. 24, 2018 for PiAol, Morales reported the evacuation and transport of 167 farm animals from Mayon Volcano's danger zone to pooling and evacuation centers in Camalig and Daraga municipalities.

Evacuated were 84 cattle, 80 carabaos, and three horses, said Morales, citing reports of DA's Region 5 office.

He said animal healthcare intervention was present at the evacuation centers.

Morales said the farm animals' evacuation affected 55 livestock raisers/farmers, who received this week as support almost 17 rolls of nylon rope and 33.4 bags of feed concentrate.

He said the DA had already mobilized its personnel to give updates and conduct on-site validation for identified animal pooling sites.

Source: Philippine News Agency