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Monday, December 4, 2023

Iriga: DA Bicol extends assistance to farmers affected by Mt. Bulusan eruption

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DA Bicol Regional Executive Director Rodel P. Tornilla immediately activated the 24-hour manned DA Command Center on June 5, following the phreatic eruption of the Mt. Bulusan in this province. He also directed the activation of a command center at the Sorsogon Dairy Farm (SDF) in Sorsogon City.

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As part of the immediate assistance to the affected farmers, DA- Bicol immediately delivered various interventions amounting to ₱ 490,625.00 to the local provincial and municipal LGUs of Sorsogon.

The High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) initially distributed ₱ 425,625.00-worth of assistance consisting of vegetable seeds and two (2) units power sprayers each to the LGUs of the municipalities at the foot of Mt. Bulusan, namely: Juban, Bulusan, Irosin and one unit in Casiguran, to help in spraying off volcanic ashes from agricultural crops. Also prepositioned at the Sorsogon Dairy Farm were 10 plastic drums, 50 laminated sacks, 50 sets garden tools, 5 water hose and 2 units power sprayers.

Meanwhile, the DA RFO 5 Livestock Program turned over drugs such as antibiotics, vitamins, dewormers, mineral blocks, disinfectants, and wound antiseptics to the Sorsogon Provincial Veterinary Office to aid in the wound treatment, deworming, and vitamin supplementation of large ruminants around the 4-kilometer danger zone. Deworming and vitamin injection of livestock was conducted by the Provincial Veterinary Office of Sorsogon in barangays of Puting Sapa and Buraburan in Juban led by Dr. John Ashley De Castro, Provincial Veterinarian. The program also turned over ropes together with drugs and biologics to the Municipal Agriculture Offices of five Sorsogon towns.

On June 9, after the conduct of rapid damage assessment and validation of submitted damage reports from LGUs, RED Tornilla reported a partial production loss of ₱ 2,644,898.27. For high value crops, 38.30 hectares were damaged by ash fall with estimated production loss of ₱ 1,477,085.77 affecting some 186 farmers. Out of this, 36.80 hectares were totally damaged and with no chance of recovery. Meanwhile, 63.75 hectares of abaca plantation were also damaged with volume of production loss of 15.94 MT valued at ₱ 1,067,812.50.

Continuous monitoring and validation of the affected areas is being conducted in coordination with the municipal LGUs and provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Office of Sorsogon. Director Tornilla said that DA RFO 5 is prepared for any eventuality and needed resources are already in place, in case volcanic activity will continue.

(Source: Agriculture Bicol)

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