‘Ompong’ destroys P1.3B in crops, infrastructure in Pangasinan

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MALASIQUI, Pangasinan — Typhoon ‘Ompong’ left the province with P1.04 billion in initial damage to agriculture and P25.7 million to infrastructures, the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPAG) in Pangasinan reported on Wednesday.

In an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Wednesday, Provincial Agriculturist Dalisay Moya said the amount of losses might still increase as they await reports from the agriculture departments of local government units (LGUs).

Moya disclosed that ‘Ompong’ affected 40,743 hectares of rice field in 31 LGUs, and 664 hectares of assorted vegetable plantation in 20 localities of the province.

“Although, our province was not directly hit by the typhoon, the ‘palays’ (rice) are in maturity period, while some are flowering so damages in our agriculture are high,” she said.

Moya noted that agricultural losses caused by the typhoon were about seven percent of the total expected production in the province for this year.

“It may seem small in percentage but this would amount to days of rice or vegetable consumption of Pangasinenses,” she said.

“We are hoping that in the coming days, we would be able to buy seedlings from other regions that were not affected by the calamity through our national government, so that our farmers could plant anew,” she added.

Moya said the aquaculture industry of seven towns and cities, including Dagupan City (chartered city), was also devastated by ‘Ompong’.

Meanwhile, Shallom Balolong, head of the early warning section of the Pangasinan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), said the partial damage to provincial infrastructure such as roads, bridges, buildings and facilities amounted to PHP25.725 million based from the report of the Provincial Engineering Office.

“This does not yet include the reports of infrastructure losses from the municipalities and cities of the province,” Balolong said in an interview Wednesday.

PDRRMO recorded 294 damaged houses, 16 of which were totally wrecked while 278 were partially destroyed.

The PDRRMO is still on red alert status as of Wednesday as the relief operations continue, Balolong said.

He noted that 2,200 families remain in evacuation centers as of 2 p.m. Wednesday, while flooding persists in some barangays, with an average of two feet, although it is now receding.

San Fabian town, which was distressed by flash flood during the onslaught of ‘Ompong’, was placed under state of calamity by the Sangguniang Bayan members on Monday, said Balolong.

No casualty has been reported in the province, he added. (PNA)

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