Agriculture, infrastructure damage from Typhoon Odette jumps to over ₱2.7B

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 22) — Typhoon Odette, the strongest tropical cyclone to hit the country this year, has left more than ₱2.7 billion in agriculture and infrastructure damage, the government said Wednesday.

In its latest bulletin, the Department of Agriculture (DA) estimated the damage to agriculture at ₱2.2 billion, up over four times from ₱525 million in its initial assessment.

This means production loss is pegged at 62,215 metric tons (MT), with 1,182 hectares of agricultural areas destroyed.

Among the affected commodities were rice, which saw the highest total losses at ₱1.3 billion; fisheries (₱855.6 million); corn (₱78.9 million); high value crops, such as vegetables, cacao, and banana (₱17.2 million); and livestock and poultry (₱3.4 million).

About ₱4.3 million in damage to agricultural infrastructures, and ₱418,800 to machineries and equipment, were also incurred.

The DA said at least 33,899 farmers and fishermen in CALABARZON, Bicol Region, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, and CARAGA suffered from the losses.

It said it expects these numbers to rise further given the impact of last week's typhoon.

The agency, however, will provide ₱1.75 billion worth of assistance for the agri-fisheries sector. These include a ₱1-billion Quick Response Fund for the rehabilitation of affected areas; ₱500 million under the Survival and Recovery Assistance Program and the Agricultural Credit Policy Council; ₱148 million worth of rice seeds; ₱57.6 million worth of corn seeds; and ₱44.6 million worth of assorted vegetables.

Some ₱1.64 million will also be allotted for the fingerlings and assistance to affected fisherfolk from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources; ₱625,150 for the drugs and biologics for livestock and poultry needs; and "available funds from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation to indemnify farmers."

Infra damage

Meanwhile, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has estimated about ₱585.8 million in damaged roads, bridges, and flood structures following the onslaught of Odette.

MIMAROPA saw the highest total damage at ₱231.9 million, followed by Eastern Visayas at ₱173.4 million, CARAGA at ₱145 million, and Western Visayas at ₱35.5 million.

So far, the DPWH has reopened 34 roads that were inaccessible as they underwent clearing operations. Twelve roads in parts of the Visayas and Mindanao remain closed to traffic while five others are still impassable.

The agency also said it has distributed an immediate response fund worth ₱100 million for the clearing and response operations in Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao, and CARAGA — regions hit hard by the recent typhoon.

Odette ravaged central and southern provinces of the country, making nine destructive landfalls.