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DA to help Bicol farmers brace for typhoon Ompong

By Melissa Basmayor PILI, Camarines Sur -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) regional office in Barangay San Agustin here will lend two combine harvesters/threshers to farmers who want to save their crops from impending flooding and strong winds. This, after news broke out that Bicol will experience heavy rains this week once the typhoon, with the international name “Mangkhut”, enters the country by Wednesday, Feb. 12, named “Ompong” as it entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility. In a statement, the DA said apart from the two units at the DA regional office, the combine harvesters at the Research Outreach Stations in Asid, Masbate City; Calasgasan, Daet, Camarines Norte, Cabid-an, Sorsogon City and Camalig, Albay may also be borrowed to save crops. Farmers who are done harvesting may dry their crops at the flatbed dryers at cooperatives, associations, and local government units across the region. The office also recommended that grains, fertilizers, and seedlings be covered with laminated sacks for these to stay dry. In areas where flooding usually occurs, animals should be brought to higher grounds or to the designated evacuation centers for animals. Trees should be pruned for accidents to be prevented, the DA further said. The office likewise assured the public that in any eventuality, they have seedlings and seeds for rehabilitation purposes. Meanwhile, Gov. Miguel Luis Villafuerte has called for a meeting with mayors of Camarines Sur and representatives of City or Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office yesterday, September 12, to discuss preparations for Typhoon “Mangkhut”. The meeting involved pre-disaster risk assessment, necessary preparation in anticipation of the typhoon’s possible effects, and communication protocol, among others. PNA

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