Agricultural damage in Banaue reached P14.7M

BANAUE, Ifugao: More than P14.7 million worth of agricultural crops were damaged by flash floods and landslides triggered by heavy rains on six villages here last Thursday, July 7.

Based on the data obtained from the Cordillera office of the Department of Agriculture, over 200 hectares of rice farms and plantation areas of high-value crops were affected and over 700 metric tons of rice and high-value crops were reportedly damaged by the rain-induced landslides.

However, disaster risk reduction and management officers are still assessing the extent of damages to government and private properties in the different parts of the municipality.

Earlier, the municipal council approved the declaration of Banaue under a state of calamity following the enormous damage inflicted by the landslides and flash floods. This is also to allow the local government to use portions of its available disaster risk reduction and management funds to address the needs of the calamity-stricken victims.

Aside from the nearly P1 million worth of relief packs that were distributed by the personnel of the Cordillera office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-CAR) to the more than 500 families that were affected by the landslides, some P2 million worth of financial assistance were also distributed to the households.

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The two families whose houses were totally damaged received cash assistance amounting to P10,000 each, while the 327 families whose houses were partially damaged got some P5,000 financial assistance each.

Furthermore, three injured individuals were given financial assistance amounting to P5,000 each from the DSWD-CAR.

Various civic organizations also extended assistance to the landslide-affected families who sought temporary shelter from their relatives whose houses are on safer grounds while awaiting the ongoing clearing operations being undertaken along major road networks leading to the different parts of the municipality.

On the other hand, tourism and tourism-related activities in the municipality had been temporarily suspended to allow industry stakeholders to clear the debris.

Moreover, the famous Banaue Hotel was also closed for the meantime to allow government engineers to check its stability.

The Cordillera office of the Department of Tourism issued an advisory for foreign and domestic tourists to defer their scheduled visits to the municipality until such time that the situation in the area has normalized.