INUNDATED. An aerial view of the flooded rice fields in Antique in the aftermath of Severe Tropical Storm Paeng during a survey conducted by the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council on Oct. 30, 2022. The Department of Agriculture-Western Visayas has reported an estimated damage of PHP362.93 million to crops in five provinces as of Nov. 1. (Photo courtesy of Philippine Information Agency-6)

BACOLOD CITY – The onslaught of Severe Tropical Storm Paeng left an estimated damage of PHP362.934 million to crops in Western Visayas as of Tuesday.

A progress report of the Department of Agriculture Region 6 (DA-6) cited by the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Emergency Operations Center showed the affected crops include rice, corn, and other high value-crops with a total volume of 14,002 metric tons (MT), of which more than 10,000 MT is for rice alone.

James Earl Ogatis, chief of the DA-6 Regional Agri-Fishery Information Section, had earlier said they were closely coordinating with the affected local government units to validate the damage reports and to discuss rehabilitation plans.

The hardest hit is Iloilo province, the region’s top rice-producing province, based on the reports submitted by Passi City and the municipalities of Lemery, Barotac Viejo, Zarraga, Calinog, San Rafael, Lambunao, Cabatuan, Balasan, Batad, Anilao and Dingle.

Damage to agriculture was also reported by the municipalities of Jamindan, Pilar, Dao, President Roxas and Mambusao in Capiz as well as the towns of Tibiao, Anini-y, Barbaza, Valderrama, Tobias Fornier, San Remegio, San Jose and Patnongon in Antique.

In Aklan, crop losses were monitored in the municipalities of Altavas, Banga, Ibajay, Kalibo, Lezo, Madalag, Tangalan, Malay, Nabas and Numancia.

Negros Occidental also reported damage to rice plantations in the cities of Sipalay, San Carlos, Sagay, Himamaylan, Talisay and Cadiz along with the towns of Toboso, Valladolid, Calatrava, San Enrique, Moises Padilla, Pulupandan, Hinoba-an and Cauayan.

Ogatis said the affected farmers are advised to submit a report to the local agriculture office for the processing of their indemnity claims with the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC).

Those not insured with the PCIC can be considered for other assistance like seeds if they are listed with the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture, he added. (PNA)