The Department of Agriculture has estimated at P1.14 billon the damage to agricultural crops and fisheries in Eastern Visayas and Luzon due to Typhoon “Ambo.”

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said total damage to banana, assorted vegetables, and papaya amounted to P793 million.

“For rice and corn, initial reports showed that combined damage totaled P301.7 million,” he said.

Dar also estimated the damage to fisheries and livestock at P25.5 million and P23.4 million, respectively.

Dar said losses were minimized because of early warnings, which prompted farmers to harvest their mature rice and corn crops, and fishers to refrain from going out to sea and secure their boats and nets at safer areas.

The agriculture department said rice, corn and vegetable seeds, animal drugs and other biologics for livestock and poultry were distributed to help farmers recover.

Part of a P700-million quick-response fund will also be used in the rehabilitation of affected areas, the department said.

The Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation will give an initial indemnity grant totaling P90.5 million to some 11,500 farmers and fisherfolks. (Jojo Mangahis)