THE PHILIPPINE Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC) said it is setting aside around P828 million for potential payouts to farmers and fisherfolk in storm-hit provinces.

In a statement Thursday, the PCIC estimated the number of insured farmers and fisherfolk at around 79,217 in the provinces hit by typhoon Odette (international name: Odette), most of them from the Visayas.

The agricultural damage caused by the typhoon has been estimated at P3.1 billion so far, with the volume of lost production at 90,316 metric tons (MT), according to the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Crops lost were mainly rice, corn and high-value crops (HVC) across 63,695 hectares in 28 provinces and six regions. Other losses include livestock and non-crop and fisheries assets, such as small boats, the PCIC said.

HVCs include cacao, okra, ampalaya (bitter gourd), red and white onion, and other assorted vegetables.

The DA reported that rice sustained the greatest damage, with P1.7 billion worth of damage. Corn accounted for P82.2 million, while the HVC tally was P20.7 million.

Damage to rice took place over 62,332 hectares corn 2,751 hectares and HVCs 349 hectares.

The fisheries industry is estimated to have suffered P1.3 billion in damage, affecting around 5,887 fisherfolk.

Central Visayas suffered the most damage among regions at an estimated P464.57 million, followed by Western Visayas and Eastern Visayas at P173.12 million and P90.16 million, respectively, according to the PCIC.

The DA also reported damage incurred by agricultural infrastructure, machinery, and other farm property.

The PCIC said in its statement that it will ensure “quick payment for all damage claims, especially in times of widespread calamity.”

Insured farmers and fishermen can now process documents within 20 working days, compared to the previous 60 days required by law.

The DA will also be providing P1 billion worth of assistance to affected areas, along with P148 million worth of rice seed, P57.6 million worth of corn seed, and P44.6 million worth of assorted vegetables, among others. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson