The possibility of declaring a state of calamity in the local agriculture sector may help provide resources and interventions for its rehabilitation, according to the Office of Provincial Agriculture (OPA).
Dr. Romeo Cabungcal, provincial agriculturist, said Thursday that it will be helpful for the sector to rehabilitate the over P2 billion damage recorded after typhoon Odette in December 2021. The damage affected rice, corn, high-value crops, fisheries, and livestock.
“Appreciated ang reso considering that there is a lot of damage in the agri sector, and may the resolution be a policy that can provide resources for our rehabilitation,” Cabungcal said in a text message.
The declaration of a state of calamity was proposed Tuesday by board member Winston Arzaga, citing it as a way for rehabilitation and resurgence of the sector.
He cited problems in increasing prices of farm inputs, inadequate farm machinery, and low buying prices of unhusked rice or palay as leading to the suffering of the sector. He pointed out that the current state of agriculture is also a cause of poverty in rural areas.
Arzaga said in a resolution that the state of calamity will help the sector get access to or re-allocate government funds.
On the other hand, Cabungcal thinks it will be a significant answer to help repair the harm done to the local economy.
“Yes, kasi with so many areas damaged in the agri sector, this can be a means not only in the PGP actions but also sa municipal level and hopefully we can provide interventions ASAP,” he added.
Even though other commodities have started to gradually recover, some top high-value crops will take years to be rehabilitated such as cashew and coconut. The cashew, of which 90 percent production is supported by Palawan nationwide, will need five years to recover, while the coconut will take three to four years. (with reports from Aira Genesa Magdayao)