Economic losses reach P4.3 billion, agri-fishery worst hit—NEDA

The eruption of Taal Volcano last week has caused P4.3 billion in economic losses in the affected towns within its 14-kilometer danger zone, the National Economic and Development Authority said Monday.

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Economic losses reach P4.3 billion, agri-fishery worst hit—NEDA
DENOTING DAMAGE. Volunteers on Monday hand out donations to families affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano in Buso Buso, the eruption inflicting significant damage on the livelihood of tens of thousands of families in the area. AFP
In a preliminary report released this week, NEDA said this was equivalent to 0.17 percent of the 2018 gross regional domestic product of the CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) region.

NEDA said of the total amount, P3.167 billion was lost in the agriculture and fishery sector; P357.3 million in the industry sector; and, P789.1 million in the services sector. NEDA used 2018 as the basis for the loss computation.

The towns and cities within the 14-kilometer radius considered as high-risk areas are San Nicolas, Agoncillo, Talisay, Laurel, Tanauan City, Tagaytay City, Cuenca, Mataas na Kahoy, Balete, Lemery, Taal, Lipa City, Santa Teresita, Malvar, Alitagtag, and San Jose.

The economic losses are even higher, at P6.66 billion, if the towns within a 17-kilometer radius from the main crater are considered, NEDA said. 

Of this amount, the foregone income in agriculture and fishery sector was estimated at P3.167 billion; P711.9 million in the industry sector, and P2.778 billion in the services sector.

Towns and cities included in the 17-km radius considered as high-risk areas are San Nicolas, Agoncillo, Talisay, Laurel, Tanauan City, Tagaytay City, Cuenca, Mataas na Kahoy, Balete, Lemery, Taal, Lipa

City, Santa Teresita, Malvar, Alitagtag, San Jose, Alfonso, Calaca, Bauan, Lian, Nasugbu, San Luis, San Pascual, Sto. Tomas, Tuy, and Balayan.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported that a total of 50,599 families or 203,763 persons from the affected barangays are evacuated in evacuation centers in the three provinces of Batangas, Cavite, and Laguna.

The report said there are about 2,761 sustenance fishermen in the Taal Lake alone whose livelihood depends on the gathering of finfish, crustaceans, and mollusks. The lake is predominantly used for fisheries but has multi-source uses such as recreation, tourism, navigation, the water source for Tagaytay, irrigation, and source of feeds for ducks.

As a major tourist destination area, the lake is used for sight-seeing, boating, swimming, sailing, and water skiing.

Taal Lake has an area of about 239 square kilometers and the lakeshore circumference is about 267 kilometers. Within the lake is a volcano island with an area of around 24 square kilometers.

Last week, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno said monetary authorities were currently looking at the possible effect of the Taal Volcano eruption to inflation but he remained confident that the increases in consumer prices this year would continue to be manageable.

“At this time, the BSP is just starting to assess preliminary data on the possible impact of the ongoing eruption of Taal Volcano on both inflation and growth,” Diokno said in a briefing.

Earlier, the Philippine National Bank said in a report the Taal Volcano eruption would have an impact on the trajectory of inflation in the days ahead because the southern Tagalog region is a main contributor to the supply of livestock and fish nationwide.

“We worry that the Taal eruption may put pressure on food prices of livestock particularly chicken and hogs [as well as fish supply] since Calabarzon―Taal’s location and region most affected, is a significant contributor to local production of livestock,” it said.

Philippine Statistics Authority data showed that Calabarzon ranked as the second-largest producer of live chicken having produced 87 thousand metric tons, liveweight out of a total of 428.8 thousand MT, liveweight in the third quarter of 2019.

The region is also the second-largest source of hog supply at 17 percent of total hog production of 551.6 thousand metric tons, liveweight in third quarter 2019.

The Department of Agriculture on Monday said the total damage and losses amounted to P3.22 billion.

In a bulletin issued on Jan. 19, the department said the eruption and ashfall affected 16,150 hectares of farmland and caused the death of 55,881 heads of various farm animals that include chicken, carabao, cattle, horse, swine, and goat.

The Manila Electric Co., meanwhile, said it has fully restored its main lines and circuits which were damaged by ash fall from Taal’s eruption. 

Meralco said it was able to restore 100 percent of the affected circuits at 3 p.m. Sunday.

Portions of Cavite, Laguna, and Batangas experienced interruptions in the past week because of Taal’s ashfall coming into contact with Meralco’s facilities, thus affecting the various circuits in these areas.

About 180,000 customers in portions of Sta. Rosa, Cabuyao, Calamba, Binan in Laguna, portions of Talisay in Batangas, portions of Silang, Amadeo, Alfonso, Mendez-Nunez, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, Dasmarinas, Indang, Maragondon, Naic, Trece Martirez in Cavite and portions of Tagaytay City were affected.

Meralco thanked its customers for “their patience and understanding.” 

Meralco said customers who still do not have power may report their problems through the Meralco Facebook or Twitter accounts, or through the Meralco Mobile app.

Tagaytay City on Monday chose to defy a closure order on commercial establishments in the tourist city. Cavite Rep. Abraham Tolentino said the Department of Interior and Local Government memo calling for the closure of business in Tagaytay would be treated only as a “recommendation.”

He told ABS-CBN that for now, it was “business as usual” in Tagaytay. With PNA

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Topics: Taal Volcano , eruption , National Economic and Development Authority , ational Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council
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