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Storm affects Yolanda projects

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By Restituto A. Cayubit

Tacloban City –   Storm “Urduja” damaged projects under the Yolanda Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Program (YRRP) being implemented by the Department of Agriculture’s Regional Field Office (RFO) in Eastern Visayas.

Salvador D. Diputado, RFO regional executive director, told Manila Bulletin the initial field indicated that the storm left millions of pesos in damage to the projects.

The YRRP received P3.6 billion in funding last April.

Diputado could not give Manila Bulletin specific figures because field personnel and municipal agricultural officers and technicians were still checking, but said “the damage may range in several millions of pesos.”

He said the verification and reporting were difficult especially in hard-hit areas because electricity and communication facilities were still out.

In one report, four generator sets at one of the RFO’s experimental stations were submerged in floodwaters, while at another experimental station the fertilizers, seeds and other agricultural inputs were buried in the mud, Diputado said.

Rice farmers who received funds under the YRRP lost their seedling because of the storm, he said.  Rice fields that were ready for planting were damaged by big boulders.

Diputado raised the possibility of an Urduja rehabilitation fund being created, but said the amount will depend on the reported damage.

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