Press Release
June 28, 2011

Legarda Asks DA to be at the Forefront of Rehab Efforts for Farmers Affected by Recent Typhoons

Senator Loren Legarda today called on the Department of Agriculture (DA) to alert all its regional offices nationwide to be at the forefront of rehabilitation efforts following the onslaught of Typhoons Egay and Falcon.

Legarda noted the DA's report that the two typhoons caused the damage of P692-million worth of crops and livestock in 13 provinces in Luzon and Mindanao. Mostly affected are the provinces of North Cotabato and Maguindanao with damages to agriculture reaching P313 million and P258 million, respectively; while vegetable plantations in Bukidnon, Maguindanao and Zambales were also affected by the heavy rains.

"The DA can extend assistance to affected farmers by providing them with rice seeds, vegetable seeds, fruit seedlings, and fertilizers. We need to fast-track the recovery of the agriculture sector to maintain our food supply and avert the escalation of prices of basic commodities," she stressed.

Furthermore, Legarda reiterated her call for the adoption of measures that would address the vulnerability of the agriculture sector to the impact of climate change.

The Senator explained that the country's agricultural adaptation program must ensure more investments in agricultural research and infrastructure, improved water governance and land use policies, better forecasting tools and early warning systems, a strengthened extension system that will assist farmers to achieve economic diversification, and access to credit and crop insurance to make significant improvements in the country's food security goals.

"The unusual weather patterns we have been experiencing have caused the decrease in production of several essential crops and with the absence of robust adaptation strategies, climate change will further imperil our food security," she stressed.

"Policies on climate change adaptation are therefore crucial and urgent to alleviate the impact of weather disturbances on the agriculture and fisheries sector and to enhance food self-sufficiency and alleviate rural poverty," Legarda concluded.

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