The estimated damage caused to agriculture by Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai) has been increased to P3.6 billion, with over 67,573-hectares of land and 47,048 farmers and fishermen affected, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said in a report.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) announced that it would mobilize its floating assets to conduct relief operations in areas isolated by the storm. This will include multi-mission offshore vessel, Barko ng Republika ng Pilipinas (BRP) Lapulapu.

BRP Lapulapu will first sail to the Caraga region, then to Eastern Visayas, to deliver rice, canned and dried goods, and hygiene kits.

“The DA-BFAR will go all-out in our relief assistance to coastal communities affected by Super Typhoon Odette. More floating assets will be deployed in the coming days to carry more relief goods and boat repair materials,” BFAR National Director Eduardo B. Gongona said.

An initial 100 marine engines and material for boat construction were loaded onboard BRP Lapulapu. The BFAR also allocated supplies for 5,000 wooden and fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) boats for the relief operations.

The DA said production volume lost due to Odette was at 94,764 metric tons (MT), with losses reported in Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, the Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao, and the Caraga region.

Rice, corn, and other high value crops were reported among the farm losses. Agricultural infrastructure and equipment were also damaged.

The DA is continuing to coordinate with local government units and other related offices to assess the impact of Odette. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson