About P1.26 billion of standing rice and corn crops were saved from Typhoon Bising due to the early harvest advisory issued by the Department of Agriculture.
A total area of 14,589 hectares of rice have been harvested from Regions V, VIII and XIII with an equivalent production of 59,543 metric tons amounting to P1.08 billion.
Harvested corn totalled 534 hectares from Region V and VIII with an equivalent production of 1,411 metric tons valued at P18.2 million.
According to an update released by the DA regional field units Thursday, damages to agriculture amounted to P168.08 million.
The typhoon, expected by the weather bureau to slightly accelerate while moving north northeast or away from land, has affected 6,281 farmers and fisherfolk, mostly from the agricultural areas in Bicol Region and Eastern Visayas.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration said in its 5 pm bulletin on Thursday that Bising was already 390 kilometers east of Basco, Batanes.
Apart from rice and corn, other affected commodities include assorted vegetables and fruits, livestock and fisheries produce. Some agricultural and fisheries, likewise, sustained damages which are yet to be assessed.
The DA prepared assistance packages available of rice seeds and corn seeds and assorted vegetable seeds for farmers from Regions II, IV-A, V, VIII, and XIII as well as drugs and biologics for livestock and poultry.
The government also offered loans under the Survival and Recovery (SURE) Loan Program of Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) and has readied funds from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) to indemnify affected farmers.
Typhoon Bising has been projected to move generally northeastward away from the landmass of Luzon before turning east northeastward and generally eastward on Saturday, April 24. It is expected to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Saturday evening or early morning Sunday.
As of Thursday afternoon, Bising continued to have maximum sustained winds of 150 km/h and gustiness of up to 185 km/h.
But it could be downgraded to a severe tropical storm by Friday and a tropical storm by Saturday, and later into an extratropical cyclone – a low pressure system – outside PAR on Monday.