Aftermath of Typhoon Pablo

Aftermath of Typhoon Pablo

PabloTyphoon Pablo which made landfall late December 3 on Mindanao have left an estimated P34 billion damage and a death toll of 1,050 including 354 still unidentified bodies. On top of that, at least 2,662 were injured while 838 others remain missing. It is the strongest tropical cyclone to ever hit Mindanao, making landfall as a Category 5 super typhoon with winds of 160 mph.

The largest number of fatalities comes from Compostela Valley followed by Davao Oriental, where 603 and 391 died, respectively. According to the NDRRMC, a total of 711,682 families or 6,243,998 persons in 34 provinces were affected by Pablo. Nearly 170,000 houses were damaged leaving 11,000 people homeless and are still inside evacuation centers.

According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the estimated cost of damages brought by Pablo reached P26.5 billion from agriculture produces and P7.8 billion from private properties. Reports from Department of Agriculture (DA) estimated that the damage to crops and other farm products reached P10.3 billion from different agricultural sectors.

DA reported that 71,644 metric tons of bananas valued at P6.43 billion planted over 22,559 hectares of farmlands were damaged. Moreover, the corn sector reported as loss 54,536 metric tons of corn planted over 27,582 hectares of farmlands amounting to P955.33 million. Hogs and poultry sector reported over P410 million in losses. Damage to high-value crops and the fisheries sector reached P135.63 million. The coconut sector initially accounted losses valued at P766.82 million from 14,929 hectares of coconut plantations. But a recent report from Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) estimated a total loss of P8 billion from the coconut industry in Davao Region.

In line with this, different sectors from agricultural industry seek help from the government. The Department of Agriculture has awarded over P1 million worth of subsidy for the rehabilitation of Pablo-stricken farmlands in the province. The subsidy includes 5,000 bags of certified rice seeds and 1,000 bags of open-pollinated and hybrid corn seeds, as well as, four bags of ammonium sulfate per hectare. Moreover, the agriculture department is also giving away an assistance of P1,500 per hectare for the clearing operation of damaged banana plantations, aside from supplying the tissue cultured banana plantlets. Also, the National Government contributed P10 million worth of farm machineries, equipment, and post-harvest facilities to 24 farmer associations and cooperatives in Davao del Norte. Farm equipments include hand tractors, mobile threshers, corn shellers, drum seeders, floating tillers and combine harvesters, among others.

The government is working hard to implement various mechanisms for relief. Among those already mobilized are local government units (LGUs) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), which have dispatched food packs to various areas. The DSWD also provided, as of December 5, P3.29 million worth of relief aid (combining the resources of the DSWD, amounting to P1.25 million; local government units [LGUs], P2.044 million; and non-government organizations, P2,600).  In a release, the department said that it also prepared standby funds of P40.25 million and an additional P45.86 million in relief goods, and are also purchasing and packing items such as “sleeping bags, first-aid emergency medical kits, frying pans, cauldrons, hard plastic plates and cups, spoons, forks, men’s and women’s underwear, towels, short pants, pails, flashlights, whistles, portable life vests and heavy-duty knapsack bags.

Private entities and foreign government also helped the Pablo victims. Among a few are the Australian government, A$5 million for survival kits and 1,000 tons of emergency food aid; Canadian government, $100,000; New Zealand, NZ$500,000; Usana True Health Foundation, $10,000; Shelterbox, tents supplies and equipment (United Kingdom); USAID, $100,000 to Catholic Relief Services to support relief efforts in the affected areas; AHA Center (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), 45 KVA generators. Various non-profit organizations also did their part in helping Pablo victims.

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