The Taal Recovery and Rehabilitation Program of the Department of Agriculture (DA) Region IV-CALABARZON has reached a total of 27,381 Taal-affected farmers as the regional office aims to provide alternative, sustainable livelihood opportunities for them.
About 22 cities and municipalities in the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, and Batangas have been immensely affected since the Taal Volcano eruption last January 12, 2020, resulting in agricultural losses of P1.8 billion and damaged area of 4,731 hectares.
Meanwhile, high value crop sector yielded 88.25 percent damage in terms of percentage distribution per commodity, the highest among all other crops produced in the region. Consequently, damage reports were assessed to require a total rehabilitation fund of P813,813,300 to pave the way for full recovery and rehabilitation of the affected areas. Although it could take years to rehabilitate, DA CALABARZON released P379.9-million Quick Response Fund (QRF), a major step forward in providing the affected farmers with technical support and assistance.
As of July 17, Field Operations Division Chief Engr. Redelliza A. Gruezo reported program status per component under the QRF. Machinery and equipment, and other farm inputs have already been completely distributed.
Meanwhile, the rest of the program components have yet to distribute 100 percent – delivery of planting materials is 97percent and of seeds is 57 percent; rehabilitation of processing facility is halfway through completion (50%); while the distribution of small and large ruminants, and of fertilizer/soil ameliorant are 33 percent and 27 percent, respectively.
Likewise, Engr. Gruezo reported that additional funding worth P433.9 million was being proposed to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Framework to compensate for the total rehabilitation fund. • (SDAL, DA-RAFIS)