Noting the devastation caused by Typhoons Egay and Falcon, which impacted many provinces and resulted in millions of pesos worth of agricultural damage and losses, Senator Win Gatchalian emphasized the need for a robust agriculture information system (AIS) which can help farmers increase their productivity and assure adequate food supply in the market even with weather interruptions.
According to him, the country’s vulnerability to weather disturbances such as typhoons should prompt the government to adopt an agriculture information system that would prevent any artificial shortages which can affect prices.
Gatchalian made such emphasis as he continued relief operations today for those affected by Typhoons Egay and Falcon. He distributed rice, provided by Valenzuela City, to the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, and Abra, all of which have been officially declared under a state of calamity. Gatchalian was joined by Valenzuela City Councilors Niña Lopez and Ricarr Enriquez.
According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), agricultural damages due to the recent typhoons were estimated to be almost P3 billion. This has affected about 117 thousand farmers and fisherfolk throughout the nation, leaving over 140 thousand hectares of crop area damaged.
“We want to support our kababayans not only in the short and medium term but also in the long run. We expect that through the creation of the AIS, the livelihood of our farmers will be more organized and the problem of hunger in the country will be resolved,” said Gatchalian.
The lawmaker has filed Senate Bill No. 1374, which seeks the establishment of an AIS that would enable farmers to find their markets and sell their output where there is demand. Once in place, the system is expected to ensure not only the profitability of farmers but also the adequacy of food supply in retail centers.
The measure would also ensure that agricultural supplies are delivered in areas where there is demand and thus prevent artificial shortages that tend to drive prices higher.