SAN AGUSTIN, PILI, CAMARINES SUR – Although typhoon Ambo did not directly hit most of the Bicol provinces as initially forecasted but only some of parts of Masbate and Sorsogon, it wrought damages to crops and livestock initially estimated at P79.9 Million, DA Bicol Regional Executive Director Rodel P. Tornilla reports. 

The approximate affected area in the six provinces was 3,885 hectares with production loss totaling 4,564 metric tons. 

Corn recorded the highest losses of 3,365 metric tons from 2,616 hectares damaged farms with production loss pegged at P52M. Meanwhile, rice recorded an initial production loss of 1,149 metric tons from 1,067 hectares partially damaged rice areas with production loss recorded at P17.5 M. For high value crops such as fruits and vegetables, 201 hectares were damaged with production loss of 48 metric tons amounting to P10.01M. Meanwhile, initial damages on livestock was recorded at P101,500.00.

Masbate incurred the biggest losses in agriculture initially totaling P36.9 M. A total of 1,124 hectares of corn areas in Masbate have been damaged with production loss of 994 metric tons amounting to P16.8M. Rice farms in Masbate also suffered partial damages as 1,057 hectares were affected with production loss of 1,141 metric tons pegged at P17.4M. 

Camarines Sur incurred an initial P33.1M losses in corn only in 1,379 hectares corn areas damaged where the volume of production loss was recorded at 2,225 metric tons. 

Albay followed with P4.5M initial total production loss in corn, high value crops and livestock. A total of 144 hectares of corn areas were damaged with production loss of 144 metric tons amounting to P2.06M. For high value crops an initial 115 hectares were damaged with production loss of 31 metric tons amounting to P2.5M.

Catanduanes reported an initial of 15 hectares of high value crops damaged with production loss of 1.94 metric tons amounting to P2.5M.

In Camarines Norte, 6.69 hectares of corn areas were damaged with production loss of 1.03 metric tons amounting to P85,450.00.

In Sorsogon, 54 hectares of rice and corn were damaged with production loss totaling P2.6M.

Ambo, the first typhoon to enter PAR in 2020, was packed with maximum sustained winds of 165 kph near the center and gustiness of 200 kph as it brought violent winds and heavy rains to the Bicol provinces which were placed under Storm Signal No. 3 on May 14.

A week before the landfall of the typhoon, Tornilla activated the DA RFO 5 Regional Command and Action Center. Seeds for rice and corn as well as drugs and biologics for livestock and poultry were distributed to and prepositioned in the DA RFO 5 Research Outreach Stations in the six provinces before the onslaught of typhoon Ambo.

Before the typhoon, the DA Bicol has prepositioned some 6,618 bags of corn seeds (both white and yellow corn, conventional and GMO varieties); 4,611 bags of hybrid rice seeds and 55,491 bags of inbred rice seeds which are awaiting delivery. Seeds of vegetables such as okra, hot pepper, eggplant, mungbean, tomato, squash, chili pepper, pole sitao, radish, ampalaya, watermelon, cucumber, pechay, patola, and lettuce are also ready for distribution to affected farmers. (Lovella P. Guarin /RAFIS 5)