QUICK RESPONSE. A landslide-hit farming community in Baybay City, Leyte in this April 11, 2022 photo. The Department of Agriculture is allocating PHP120 million quick response funds for the two areas in Leyte province badly hit by Tropical Depression Agaton. (Photo courtesy of Pobreng Biyahero)

TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Agriculture (DA) is allocating PHP120 million quick response funds for the two areas in Leyte province badly hit by Tropical Depression Agaton.

DA Regional Executive Director Angel Enriquez said on Tuesday the initial releases are part of the national government’s agricultural rehabilitation and recovery projects for the local government units of Baybay City and Abuyog, Leyte.

“Last week, the DA regional field office turned over to the city government of Baybay an initial support worth over a million pesos for the relief and rehabilitation efforts intended to its farmers. Among the interventions provided were seven kilograms of assorted vegetable seeds, 200 bags of corn seeds, and 150 bags of hybrid rice seeds,” Enriquez told reporters.

Within this week, 70 bags of milled rice and additional 350 bags of hybrid rice seeds will be delivered to Baybay City, according to the official.

As of April 16, the agriculture department has already recorded PHP106.5 million worth of damages incurred by farmers due to massive flooding and landslides.

The disaster affected 2,798 farmers and destroyed 2,384 hectares of farmlands.

During the week-long search, responders have already retrieved 174 bodies from landslide debris in Baybay City and Abuyog town.

There are still 128 missing persons in several communities hit by landslides. (PNA)