Typhoon Odette caused P3.8 billion in damage to agricultural and infrastructure in the MIMAROPA Region, according to the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC).

Retired major general Ruben Carandang, regional director of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and chairperson of the RDRRMC, stated during a joint meeting with the Palawan Provincial and Puerto Princesa City DRRMCs that agriculture sustained P2.5 billion in damage while infrastructure sustained P1.3 billion.

Present during the meeting were Palawan Vice Governor Victorino Dennis Socrates, PDRRMC assistant and EOC Manager Cruzalde Ablaña, Provincial Legal Officer Atty. Jethro Palayon, Provincial Information Officer Atty. Christian Jay Cojamco, and PSWDO chief Abigail Ablaña.

Carandang said that because of the wide range of damage brought by the typhoon, they will be able to finish their assessment before February 18, 2022.

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“Yan ay initial, hindi pa tapos [ang assessment]. What we have discussed ay it must be finished not later than February 18 [dahil] kapag ganito kalaking damages ay it takes time,” he said.

“May process tayo na sinusunod dahil hindi naman pwede na kapag naipasa ang report ay nandyan kaagad ang hinihingi nila kasi iva-validate pa ‘yan,” Carandang explained.

Carandang said they do not have exact figure of the total allocation yet needed for the recovery of the region to address the issues among residents particularly the housing and livelihood assistance.

He also stated that the typhoon is a challenge for them, as they must consider the budget required to handle the victims’ demands.

“As of now I cannot tell the figure but initially, the total as of now is P3.8 billion na ‘yong damages sa agriculture and infrastructure. I cannot tell this time kung magkano [ang kailangan] and as I have mentioned ay medyo wala na tayong pera, halos nagamit na sa COVID. So pag-aaralan ng gobyerno kung saan kukuha ng pondo para dito,” he stressed.

“Actually dito sa baba ay mabilis [ang response natin] kaya nga pinipilit namin na matapos within the target date, [kasi] it involves budget. Unang-una alam naman natin na ang bansa natin ay hindi ganon kayaman and sometimes ay pinag-aaralan pa nila kung saan ire-reallign ‘yong budget requirement na mao-obtain,” he added.

Based on latest report, totally damaged houses have reached 26,660 while 27,891 were partially damaged.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.