By Liezle Basa-Iñigo
Ilagan City, Isabela – known as the “Corn Capital of the Philippines” – is preparing for the worst impact of Ompong on its golden agricultural produce.
City Information Officer Paul Bacungan said the typhoon is threatening to destroy 21,000 hectares of corn and also of rice, which could romp up the cost of damage to agriculture to P372 million.
“Threatened areas are 21,000 hectares, where 15,000 hectares of corn and 6,000 hectares on reproductive stage can be damaged. Farmers have yet to harvest their crops this month until October,” Bacungan told The Manila Bulletin.
In Administrative Order No. 9 issued by the DA on Aug. 6, 2016, Ilagan was officially recognized as the corn capital of the country.
Bacungan said that with Ompong expected to blow through this region, the worst case scenario, is that damage to corn will cost P178 million and damage to rice will reach P110 million for a total of P372 million in agricultural losses.
Meanwhile, relief goods have been prepositioned for 91 barangays. “Out of 91 barangays, 41 can possibly be isolated, so this move to preposition relief goods is necessary,” said Ilagan Mayor Evelyn Catolico-Diaz.