Negros Occidental rice farmland damage rises to P7.18 million

NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, Philippines – The damage to rice farmlands in this province caused by the heavy rain and flooding brought by southwest monsoon has increased to P7.18 million.

The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist said the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat enhanced by Tropical Storm Falcon (Danas) this week has affected a total of 846 farmers. This area covered 1,092 hectares from 40 barangays in 3 local government units.

The hardest-hit localities in the province were Bago City and Valladolid with P2.98 million and P2.62 million worth of rice production losses, respectively.

The report showed that 413 farmers from 19 barangays in Bago City suffered losses and 416 hectares of farmlands were affected while in Valladolid, 279 farmers from 14 barangays were hit and 399 hectares of farm land were damaged.

Valladolid Mayor Enrique Miravalles said that 14 out of the 16 barangays in his area were affected, adding that most of the rice farmers who incurred damages were insured.

He said that his town was a catch basin of other LGUs. “All the waters pass through our floodways. It can’t accommodate large volumes of water and heavy rains,” he added.

Also hit was the town of San Enrique that incurred P1.58 worth of losses. It affected 154 farmers and 276 hectares from 7 barangays.

OPA continues to monitor and assess the damage to the farmlands.

Zeaphard Gerhart Caelian, Provincial Disaster Management Program Division head, for his part, said most of the affected areas in the province by the southwest monsoon were in the south, such as San Enrique, Valladolid, and Pontevedra, as these are “flood-prone areas, low-lying and water basin.”

These areas have wide rice paddies that are suitable for rice farming, he added. –