(File Photo)

SAN VICENTE, Palawan — Typhoon Odette’s devastation in this town has left its tourism sector with over P41 million in losses, based on a report Tuesday by the Municipal Tourism Office (MTO).

According to MTO chief Lucy Panagsagan, San Vicente, which is located in northern Palawan and has been designated as a Flagship Tourism Enterprise Zone (Flagship TEZ), has recorded damages of P41,799,300 in accommodations for the traveling public, dining establishments, and tourism facilities.

Odette’s destruction to accommodation facilities totaled P22,214,300, according to Panagsagan — Barangays Alimanguan (P172,000), New Agutaya (P527,700), Poblacion (P2,103,603), Port Barton (P9,848,000), San Isidro (P9,530,000), and Sto Nino, (P33,000).

Resto bars and dining establishments in Port Barton were damaged for P775,000, travel and tours for P15,000, and sea tourist transport for an estimated P5,935,000 in the barangays of Poblacion, New Agutaya, and Sto. Nio.

The damages for other tourism facilities totaled P12,880,000 — Brgy. New Agutaya (P430,000), Poblacion (P6,400,000) and Port Barton (P6,050,000).

Panagsagan emphasized that key services and infrastructure, like water, power, communications, and roads, are currently being restored.

“Sa ngayon, ang ginagawa ng local government unit (LGU) ay patuloy ang pamimigay ng relief assistance sa lahat. Naka-focus din muna sa restoration ng mga ilaw, tubig, communication signal, clearing operation sa mga kalsada, at shelter assistance program ng Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO),” said Panagsagan.

Panagsagan said Odette’s devastation has added to the hardships of San Vicente, which has yet to recover from the effects of COVID-19.

They are confident, though, that things will improve in the coming years.

“Sa dami nating pinagdaanan mula pandemic, tapos ito lately ang bagyong Odette na talaga namang nag-iwan ng matinding pinsala sa atin, mag-pray lang tayo na sana patuloy na makabangon ang San Vicente. Madami na sana tayong flights at bookings sa ilang mga hotels dito, however, lahat yon ay nag-cancel dahil sa current situation dito,” Panagsagan said.

“Siguro kapag ma-restore ang mga necessary facilities ay babalik ang sigla ng turismo. Good thing to announce na zero covid case na tayo ngayon,” she added.

The MTO chief also expressed the municipal government’s appreciation to the United Tourism Enterprise Association (UNITEA) and other public and private groups for their assistance in organizing donation campaigns and distributing relief goods to Odette-affected residents.

She said they are yet to discuss how they can provide help to the tourism establishments that had been impacted by the recent typhoon.