DA: No underreporting, all El Niño agri damage reports validated

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DAMAGED RICE LAND. An irrigated rice land withers from the drought caused by the El Niño phenomenon in Sibalom, Antique on March 13, 2024. The Department of Agriculture on Monday (May 6) said all agricultural damage reports on the ground due to El Niño undergo thorough verification before being released to the public. (PNA photo by Annabel Consuelo J. Petinglay)
MANILA – All agricultural damage reports on the ground due to the El Niño phenomenon undergo thorough verification before being released to the public, a Department of Agriculture (DA) official said Monday.
"Walang underreporting, lahat ng damage na nare-report sa amin, after careful validation, nire-report iyan at nilalabas (There's no underreporting, all damage reported to us, is being reported and released after careful validation)," Agriculture Assistant Secretary Arnel de Mesa said in an ambush interview on the sidelines of the Philippine Inter-Agency Committee on Zoonoses leadership turnover on Monday.
The DA official made the statement after former agriculture chief Leonardo Montemayor relayed a report that supposedly show an expected decline of about 30 percent in sugar production in Negros Occidental.
De Mesa said he had yet to verify the report on sugarcane plantations, explaining that even the recent damage report for the end of April was carefully validated to avoid misinformation.
"Ang DA, maingat sa mga datos (The DA is very careful on data). We want as accurate as possible iyong information na ire-release natin sa publiko (the information that we will release to the public)," he said.
According to DA Bulletin No. 9, the country, mostly regions from the western portion, has so far sustained P5.9 billion worth of agricultural losses, with the rice sector the hardest hit with P3.14 billion in damages.
This was followed by production loss in corn worth P1.76 billion; high-value crops at P958.06 million; P33.83 million for fisheries, affecting 2,261 fishers; P7.93 million livestock and poultry; and cassava at P3.25 million.
The region with the highest reported damage is the Mimaropa region with P1.71 billion; followed by Western Visayas at P1.5 billion; Cordillera Administrative Region at P768 million; and Cagayan Valley at P562 million. (PNA)

Last Modified: 2024-May-07 14.30.00 UTC+0800