AGRICULTURAL damage caused by the onslaught of typhoon Bising is initially estimated at P45.93 million, the Department of Agriculture (DA) reported. In a bulletin on Tuesday afternoon, the department said 3,009 metric tons (MT) worth of production was lost with 765 farmers affected in the Bicol and Eastern Visayas Regions. “Affected commodities include rice, corn, assorted vegetables and fruits, and livestock. These values are still subject to validation,” the DA said. Corn recorded the biggest loss at 2,548 MT worth P35.08 million across 971 hectares of farmland. Damaged rice reached 461 MT equivalent to P8.37 million, while high value crops were worth P2.46 million and livestock at P15,300. On the other hand, 59,543 MT of rice worth P1.08 billion were harvested following early warnings. For corn, 1,411 MT valued at P18.20 million were also saved. The DA said assistance available to affected farmers include 18,478 bags of rice seeds, 12,530 bags of corn seeds, and assorted vegetable seeds; drugs and biologics for livestock; farmer indemnification; and loans from the Agricultural Credit Policy Council. Typhoon Bising, (international name: Surigae), entered the Philippine area Friday and has been traversing along the eastern Visayas and Luzon parts of the country. As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, weather bureau PAGASA said Bising was maintaining its strength with maximum sustained winds of 175 kilometers per hour (km/h) near the center and gustiness of up to 215 km/h. It was located 475 kms east of Baler, Aurora and moving slowly in a northwest direction. Heavy rains and strong winds were expected in the parts of Aurora, Cagayan, and Isabela which were under storm signal #2. Signal #1, the lowest in a five-level warning system, was up in Batanes, parts of Cagayan and Isabela, Quirino, provinces in the Cordillera Region, parts of Nueva Vizcaya, Aurora, Quezon, Camarines Norte, and Camarines Sur. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave
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