FISHERFOLK in Eastern Visayas move a native roof as they secure their homes and boats amid the initial downpour from typhoon Odette (international name: Rai) on Dec. 16, 2021. — NDRRMC/PRTV

THE DEPARTMENT of Budget and Management (DBM) released P1.58 billion on Monday for the reconstruction of houses damaged by typhoon Rai, locally known as Odette, in four regions in cental and southern Philippines.   

The fund was downloaded to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for distribution in the regions of Western and Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, and Caraga, DBM said in a statement on Wednesday.  

It will cover 153,410 damaged houses at P10,000 per household.  

“Each of us treat our homes as a safe haven… That is why the DBM is one in helping ensure that each home struck by Typhoon Odette is restored,” Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman said in Filipino.  

“Even if the typhoon hit last year, the government did not forget the victims. We will continue to provide help to the needy for their recovery,” she added.  

The DSWD requested for the release of the P1.58 billion on August 2, which was received by the DBM on August 3. The corresponding Special Allotment Release Order was released on August 8.  

Typhoon Odette, which made nine landfalls on Dec. 16 and 17, was the 15th and strongest storm to hit the country last year.  

More than two million houses were affected, including 435,160 that were totally destroyed and almost 1.6 million that were partially damaged, based on the final report on the calamity from the national disaster management council.  

There were more than 2.27 million families affected across 38 provinces in 11 regions.  

Of those affected, almost 115,000 were displaced. There were 405 confirmed deaths, 52 missing, and 1,371 injured.   

Infrastructure damage was calculated at P29.76 billion plus another P17.75 billion in the agriculture sector. Diego Gabriel C. Robles