Agriculture, infrastructure damage due to Odette reach over ₱970M

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 21) - Damage to agriculture and infrastructure following the wrath of Typhoon Odette has reached over ₱970 million, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

In its latest bulletin on Tuesday, the DA pegged Odette's damage to agriculture at ₱525 million.

The agency said the storm affected 19,677 farmers and fishermen from Calabarzon, Bicol, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Central Mindanao, Davao, and Caraga. This also translates to 24,812 metric tons (MT) production loss - affecting 30,192 hectares of agricultural areas.

Affected commodities include rice, which had the highest total losses at ₱442.9 million, corn (₱78.9 million), livestock (₱3.4 million), fisheries (₱10.5 million), and high value crops (₱4.6 million).

The DA expects the number to still rise as more reports are collected. Assessment through its regional offices is still ongoing, it added.

The department also said at least ₱1.75 billion worth of assistance will be provided to farmers and fishers, which includes ₱1 billion Quick Response Fund for the rehabilitation of affected areas; ₱148 million worth of rice seeds, ₱57.6 million worth of corn seeds, and ₱44.6 million worth of assorted vegetables; ₱500 million under the Survival and Recovery Assistance Program of the Agricultural Credit Policy Council; ₱1.64 million worth of fingerlings and assistance to affected fisherfolk from Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources; ₱625,150 worth of drugs and biologics for livestock and poultry needs; and available funds from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation to indemnify farmers.

Infrastructure

The typhoon also destroyed roads, bridges, and flood-control structures with an estimated amount of ₱448.9 million as of Tuesday, the DPWH said.

According to the agency's Bureau of Maintenance, Odette has so far caused ₱209.5 worth of damage to roads, ₱100 million to bridges, and ₱139.4 million to flood-control structures.

The DPWH said it has already cleared and reopened a total of 33 road sections to ensure delivery of relief goods to affected areas. The department added it is also working to reopen 11 national roads that are still impassable in Mimaropa, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao, and Caraga.

After its exit on Saturday, Odette left thousands homeless in many parts of the Visayas and Mindanao.

As of Tuesday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said at least 481,196 people were displaced by the typhoon.