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‘Yolanda’-ravaged areas get P1.05B reconstruction fund

The Aquino administration has released P1.05 billion for reconstruction and recovery initiatives in farm areas affected by Supertyphoon “Yolanda.”

The Department of Budget and Management said the money was released to the Department of Agriculture (DA), which will facilitate the implementation of the Reconstruction Assistance on Yolanda (RAY) program in the affected areas.

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The amount specifically will cover the implementation of clearing and desilting operations and the provision of farm tools, seeds, tractors, fertilizers, machinery and fuel subsidies to farmers in several regions, particularly Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan), Bicol, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, and the Zamboanga Peninsula.

“Although it’s been six months since Yolanda hit the country, several communities in the Visayas and Mindanao are still in the process of recovering from the devastation,” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said in the statement.

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He said the farm sector was considered a priority in post-calamity recovery given the significant damage to it.

“Farmers were especially hard hit as the supertyphoon laid waste to vast swaths of agricultural land,” Abad pointed out.

Citing estimate by the DA, the DBM said the damage to the agriculture sector stood at P31.1 billion. The amount included P27.07 billion worth of production losses, particularly damage to crops, fisheries, livestock and irrigation systems and facilities.

Of the amount released to the DA, P288.31 million will be used for clearing operations, P206.33 million for fuel subsidies to operate farm machinery, P258 million for the purchase of fertilizers, P154 million for the acquisition of tractors and the rest was allocated for the purchase of farm tools and seeds.

“We know that there is much work to be done in restoring normalcy and economic stability in agricultural communities destroyed by Yolanda,” Abad said.

The calamity hit central Philippines in November last year and led to at least 6,000 deaths.

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TAGS: Business, fund release, reconstruction, recovery, supertyphoon Yolanda
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