TACLOBAN CITY-Senator Risa Hontiveros called on the national government to provide assistance to farmers and fisherfolks who were affected when Northern Samar was hit by a massive flooding incident last month.

Hontiveros made this call during his visit to Catarman, the provincial capital, on Friday (Dec.9) where she distributed food assistance to more than 1,500 flood victims.

According to the senator, during a disaster like typhoon, more often than not, it is the farmers and the fishermen who bore the brunt, displacing their livelihood in the process.
“Kulang sa suporta ang mga magsasaka, idagdag pa natin ang natural disasters tulad ng baha, lalong importante na (matulungan ang) agrikultura para sumigla ulit ang hanap-buhay ng mga magsasaka hanggat sa mga mangigisda,” she said in a brief interview with the local media.

Based on the record of the provincial disaster risk reduction management office headed by Rei Josiah Echano, the massive flooding that struck the province last month destroyed agricultural products worth at P245.06 million, affecting 11,321 farmers.

The fishery sector was also affected by the flooding with damage cost placed at P40.40 million. There was no data as to how many fishermen across the province were affected due to the calamity.

But in a media interview, the regional director of the Department of Agriculture, Andrew Orais, said that they have extended assistance to the affected farmers, in particular, in the province.

Orais said that they are to provide rice seeds to the farmers to help them replace their destroyed crops. (JOEY A. GABIETA)