2019 04 da assistanceMr. Olando Sotelo happily poses for a photo opportunity in his farm that previously damaged by TY Josie. (Photo by Paulo Emmanuel Ajose)

The rain poured heavily, the river water from the mountains overflowed, and a flashflood rummaged the streets and farmlands of Occidental Mindoro. It was among the devastating days for the residents, particularly to the farmers, when a typhoon that was named Josie devastated the province from July 22-23, 2018.

“Sa laki po ng tubig na ibinaba mula sa kabundukan ay naging mistulang dagat ang aming mga sakahan,” recalled by Orlando Sotero, a farmer from the town of Sta. Cruz that was greatly affected by the flashflood. According to the locales, it has been 15-20 years ago since they experienced extreme flooding.

The province of Occidental Mindoro experienced severe up to extremely severe amount of rainfall. Although it did not directly hit the province, its presence was enhanced by the Southwest Monsoon or Habagat and its damage in crops cost around Php 258-million, reported by the Post-Disaster Assessment Team.

After the typhoon, farmers were only left with silts and gravels covering their rice plant. They thought it would be hopeless to revive their planted crop.

2019 04 da assistance2Affected farms that had been filled with gravel and sand in Paluan, Occidental Mindoro. Photo was taken during the evaluation of DA-MIMAROPA team in the province.

However, the Department of Agriculture (DA) and their Local Government Unit (LGU) were fast to give assistance to the affected farmers.

As the damage evaluation was done and validated, DA-MIMAROPA immediately distributed 2,000 bags of palay seeds from Bureau of Plant and Industry in Quezon City and borrowed 6,000 bags from the buffer stock of DA-Region 2. The agency also distributed palay, corn and vegetables seeds during the forum with farmers and fisherfolk on July 27, 2018.

Seeds were distributed per municipality based on the extent of damage and result of validations done by the personnel from DA and LGUs. 

“Sa tulong po ng DA, kami po ay nabigyan muli ng kaukulang binhi at kami po ay nagpapasalamat, bagamat ganun po ang nanyaring sakuna sa aming bukirin ay nandiyan po silang nakaagapay sa amin”, Sotero expressed.

2019 04 da assistance3MA Josefina Villa of Sta. Cruz while sharing their experiences TY Josie and how they recover from the damages through the DA assistance.

“Malaking tulong ang ibinigay ng DA na seeds, naka-recover ang mga magsasaka sa baha dulot ng habagat at TY Josie”, said by Josefina Villa, Municipal Agriculturist (MA) of Sta. Cruz as she extend her warmest appreciation to the department.

According to her, despite the calamity their average yield still increased from 4.85 metric tons (MT) of 2017 to 5.15MT.of 2018. The significant growth was due to the immediate assistance of DA and the high quality seeds distributed to farmers.

“Mula noong nagtanim kami ng palay nabigay ng DA ay lumaki ang aming ani, umabot ng 145 bags sa isang ektarya kumpara sa dati naming ani na 85 bags lang”, Ms. Anchelita Tapales, farmer from Brgy. Lumangbayan, gladly shared. 

“Ang DA kasama ang LGU ay nagtulong-tulong upang ma-validate ang pangangailangan ng mga magsasaka. Lumabas na seeds ang kailangan kaya kumilos agad at nabigyan agad sila nito”, MA Villa added.

Overall, MIMAROPA region obtained an average rice yield of 4.01MT/hectare for 2018 that increased by 4.6% from 2017. 

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