‘Odette’ agri damage reaches P9-B

Damage to crops and farm areas due to Typhoon Odette have reached around PHP9 billion, according to the Friday update of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Regions Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao, Soccsksargen, and Caraga suffered the most, with 132,658 farmers and fishermen affected.

The volume of production loss was placed at 194,671 metric tons and 351,932 hectares of agricultural areas.

Affected commodities include rice, corn, high-value crops like vegetables and fruits, coconut, sugarcane, livestock, and fisheries.

Also damaged were agricultural infrastructures, machinery, and equipment but the values are still subject to validation.

DA assured that at least PHP2.9-billion of readily available assistance will be provided to farmers and fisherfolk affected.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) also said more than PHP154 million worth of humanitarian assistance was already provided to affected families as of December 28.

From the given amount, more than PHP115 million worth of augmentation assistance was provided by the DSWD, more than PHP38 million worth of aid were from local government units to their constituents, and more than PHP1 million worth of aid were provided by non-governmental organizations and other partners.

Aside from the immediate needs of affected families, the DSWD Disaster Response Management Bureau facilitated the delivery of play therapy kits, learners’ kits, school-in-bag/teacher’s kits, and oral hygiene kits through the Philippine Coast Guard. (PNA)