VISIT TO TYPHOON-RAVAGED AREAS. President Rodrigo R. Duterte is welcomed by officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines upon his arrival at the Cagayan Provincial Capitol in Tuguegarao City on September 16, 2018 for a situation briefing with the members of his cabinet and local government officials to discuss the disaster response measures on the aftermath of Typhoon "Ompong". (Presidential Photo) 

LAOAG CITY -- Residents here were delighted to see President Rodrigo Duterte in the province on Sunday as he inspected the extent of damages left by Typhoon Ompong.

Latest report from the agriculture department showed an estimated 75 percent loss in rice, or about PHP1.5 billion worth of damages, and PHP123 million in vegetables.

Due to preemptive evacuation and identification of temporary animal shelters in various parts of the province, Dr. Loida Valenzuela reported on Sunday that damage to livestock was minimal compared to previous typhoons.

Before "Ompong" landed, the Provincial Veterinary Office, upon instruction of Governor Imee Marcos, conducted veterinary missions and provided vitamins and electrolyte supplementation.

“We prepositioned feeds preemptively for the most vulnerable areas. Temporary shelters were also identified and used for animal evacuation, such as in livestock auction market facilities, slaughter house, holding pens, waiting sheds, and unoccupied warehouses, among others,” Valenzuela said.

Prior to Duterte’s close-in meeting at the capitol session hall on Sunday afternoon, he requested farmer leaders to be present during the consultation and validation of estimated damages.

Meanwhile, Marcos called on the Landbank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines to provide softer loans to typhoon-affected victims in the province, and both agreed.

Sa private banks medyo hindi sila flexible at ayaw nilang making, kaya nahihirapan tayo (Private banks are not that flexible, that's why we're having a difficult time),” she added.

She also appealed to the Bureau of Internal Revenue to become more considerate in terms of giving exemptions to small farmers, including micro, small and medium entrepreneurs.

Meanwhile, the governor assured the provision of relief goods, which could last for a week, to about 10,000 families who were hit hard by the typhoon. (PNA)