MANILA - Typhoon Odette has caused over P6 billion in damage and losses to the Philippines' agriculture industry "and counting," data from the Department of Agriculture released Tuesday showed.
In a pre-recorded Talk To The People briefing that aired Tuesday, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said Odette has caused over 105,000 metric tons of agricultural volume loss after it devastated more than 70,000 hectares of agricultural lands affecting 62,000 farmers and fishermen.
Dar said most affected are the following sectors:
• Fisheries - P1.8 billion
• Rice - P1.7 billion
• Coconut - P1.5 billion
The DA said it has at least P2.9 billion of readily available fund to aid affected farmers and fisherfolk. It includes the P1 billion Quick Response Fund which Dar said could be charged to the 2022 budget.
It also includes a P828 million indemnification to 79,217 affected farmers from Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation at P12,000 average per farmer, as well as P500 million under the Survival and Recovery Assistance Program to provide 20,000 farmers and fisherfolk P25,000 each, said Dar.
On the other hand, the latest report of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council indicated that the estimated cost of damaged infrastructure stood at more than P16.7 billion.
Meanwhile, over 506,000 homes have been partially and totally damaged by Odette across Regions 4B, 6, 7, 8, and 13, according to the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development.
The number could reach about 600,000 based on the agency’s estimates, DHSUD Secretary Eduardo del Rosario said.
At least 97,500 families in Odette-stricken areas are initially set to receive a P5,000 cash aid each, or a total of P487.5 million, Del Rosario said.
"The distribution started today and is expected to be completed by Wednesday. In ways forward, to complete the P100 million commitment per province by the President, this will be completed by January of 2022, and the procurement of housing materials for targeted island LGUs with onsite delivery of the construction materials will be undertaken from January to March 2022,” he said.
Odette, the strongest typhoon to hit the country in 2021, downed homes, businesses, telecommunication facilities as well as power lines.
The government has prioritized the transport of telco and electricity personnel and equipment in Odette-stricken areas to hasten full service restorations.