by MART D. SAMBALUD
TAGUM CITY — Three Davao provinces lost P300-million in agriculture and infrastructure damaged by rampaging floods early this week, various repors as of Thursday indicated.
The amount was culled from reports of respective provincial agriculture offices in Davao del Norte, Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental. Damage to infrastructure was also reported by the provincial offices.
Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario announced the initial figure of damage based from the “rapid damage assessment” conducted by its agriculture office, which said that the sector sustained losses reaching P177 million. Banana plantations reported loses amounting to P102.5 million.
Infrastructure was badly hit in Asuncion town, with estimated damage at P14 million.
Initial reports from the Compostela Valley (Provincial Agriculture Office) Pagro said that rice crops alone worth P44.7 million were lost to the floods. Other crops in 6,599 hectares were totally damaged and another 4,160 hectares of crops were partially damaged, both at a cost of P29.9 million.
Fisheries, including the eight hectares of aquaculture farms, in Compostela Valley lost P644,850. These fishpond farms raise tilapia, carp, hito and pangasius.
In Davao Oriental, some 7,764 hectares of agricultural land have been damaged and livestock in some towns died in the flood.
The provincial government had advised residents not to eat fish in the area around Mati, where death of fishes happened.
Davao Oriental Governor Corazon Malanyaon announced that in two municipalities – Boston and Manay – some barangays have been isolated due to scattered landslides and damaged bridges along the national highway. Two bridges were reported washed out in Cateel.
The figures were expected to increase, according to the respective Pagro, saying that reports from the municipalities have just started to reach their offices.
The report from the Office of Civil Defense in the Davao Region pegged the number of displaced families at 37,641, or about 184,667 persons, who stayed in 104 evacuation centers such as in gymnasiums and government centers.
Affected areas include 145 barangays from 22 municipalities and two cities.
Davao Oriental posted the most number of displaced at 116,780 people or 23,206 families.
A total of 15 people were reported dead due to drowning or landslide. Of this number, seven were reported in Compostela Valley and eight in Davao Oriental. Thirty six persons were injured and eight were missing.
Relief operations have also been done, immediately after the effect over the weekend of the heavy rains and flashflood wrought by the low pressure in the Pacific. Relief operations were conducted by the affected municipalities and backed by the provinces and the regional office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Meanwhile, the Department of Trade and Industry in Davao del Norte ordered a cap on prices of basic commodities. These were imposed based on council resolutions filed by local officials of Asuncion, Carmen, Kapalong, New Corella, Tagum City and Braullio Dujali.
These areas have been declared under state of calamity.
The local governments sought the help of the DTI to monitor the prices to prevent persons from taking advantage of the situation.
Engineer Edwin Banquerigo, DTI provincial director, said store owners must comply with the order.
“We need to ensure that consumers here in the province are given all means of assistance,” he said.
The price ceiling covers canned goods, processed milks, detergents and laundry soaps and other processed goods that are consumed in daily basis.
The price ceiling would last for two months, with Carmen, Kapalong, New Corella, and Tagum lasting until March 14, Dujali until March 15 and Asuncion on March 31. (Mart D. Sambalud, davaotoday.com)agriculture, floods in Davao