Typhoon Odette, the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year, had so far wiped out nearly P3 billion worth of agricultural production in the province, and the Department of Agriculture (DA) expects this to rise further in the next few days.
As of Wednesday, the DA Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DA-DRRM) Operation Center recorded damage and losses amounting to P2.6 billion with regards to Typhoon Odette, which recently hit several parts of Visayas and Mindanao.
Damages have been reported in regions CALABARZON, Mimaropa, Bicol, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao, and Caraga.
So far, too, 34,747 farmers and fishermen were reportedly affected by the recent calamity, having lost as much as 87,640 metric tons of farm output across 60,451 hectares of agricultural areas.
Affected commodities include rice, corn, high-value crops, livestock, and fisheries, while damage has also been incurred in agricultural infrastructures, machinery, and equipment.
“Additional damage and losses are expected in areas affected by Odette,” DA-DRRM said, adding that the agency, through its Regional Field Offices (RFOs), is still conducting a further assessment of damage and losses brought about by Odette in the sector.
Meanwhile, the surge in the damages in the agriculture sector prompted the DA to increase its budget for interventions and assistance to farmers and farmers from its earlier commitment of P1.35 billion to P1.75 billion.
This amount includes the P1-billion worth of Quick Response Fund (QRF) for the rehabilitation of affected areas; P148-million worth of rice seeds; P57.6-million worth of corn seeds; P44.6-million worth of assorted vegetables; P1.64-million worth of fingerlings and assistance to affected fisherfolk from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR); and P625,150 worth of drugs and biologics for livestock and poultry needs from RFO V.
The DA had also set aside an initial amount of P500 million for the provision of credit assistance under the Survival and Recovery (SURE) Assistance Program of the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC), while there will likewise be available funds from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) to indemnify affected farmers.