Frank Cimatu and Angel Castillo
YOU’VE seen the footage of cars and even pigs being washed away from the roads of Banaue which the Habagat rains have turned into a river.
But, as it turns out, what affected the province more were the unseen damages. About P50 million worth of agricultural crops such as rice, high-value crops, livestocks, poultry and fisheries were damaged as flash flood struck Banaue town last July 7.
According to the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera, about 768 farmers were affected after their newly planted rice on the terraces, most of which were indigenous rice grown in Ifugao, were destroyed. DA Cordillera pegged the total agricultural loss at P48.8M.
The Cordillera Region Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council also reported that 45 business establishments in Barangay Amnganad and Poblacion, mostly inns, were also damaged.
NDRRMC Spokesman Mark Timbal said at the Laging Handa Public Briefing that P860,000 of the total estimate was damage to infrastructure. Some 1048 houses were reported to have been damaged by flooding.
“The clearing operations are being rushed so as to allow the residents to return home,” he said.
Some P2.4 million was also spent as financial and in-kind assistance for the 1,054 evacuee families.
The Department of Tourism-Cordillera suspended tourism activities and barred tourists from heading to Banaue but later allowed tourists to come in last week.
A total of 1,052 families from nine barangays were affected by flash floods and mudslides. Three houses were totally damaged, while 1,044 were partially damaged.
A total of 28 motorcycles, tricycles and vehicles were also damaged, while seven were partially damaged during the height of the mudslides.
The town of Banaue was placed under a state of calamity on June 8 by the Sangguniang Bayan through Resolution No. 61 series of 2022 which allows the use of 30 percent quick response fund 2022 to facilitate immediate repairs and rehabilitation to return the municipality and barangays to normal situation.