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Crop damage climbs to P9B

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Crop damage from Typhoon Rai has reached P9 billion covering 12 regions and more than 350,000 hectares of farmland, the Agriculture department said on Friday. 

Production losses hit 194,671 metric tons (MT), affecting 132,658 farmers and fisherfolk, it said in a statement. 

Fishery damage reached P3 billion or a third of the total, followed by rice at P1.9 billion or 21.2%, coconut at P1.5 billion or 16.6% and sugarcane at P1.2 billion or 12.8%. 

Losses were reported in the Calabarzon region, Mimaropa, Bicol, Western, Central and Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao, Soccsksargen and Caraga region, the agency said. 

Caraga reported damage in fishery facilities and infrastructure worth P142.3 million, it said, citing the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. 

The Agriculture department said it would provide at least P2.9 billion to affected agricultural workers, including P828 million in crop support and P500 million in credit. 

Meanwhile, damage to public infrastructure has reached P3.71 billion, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said in a separate statement. 

In a separate statement late Thursday, the agency said there was P2.87 billion worth of damage on roads, followed by P602.48 million on bridges, P349.26 million on flood-control structures and P650,000 on other public buildings. 

Central Visayas had the largest damage at P1.68 billion, followed by Eastern Visayas at P963.64 million, Western Visayas at P549.65 million, the Caraga region at P230 million, Mimaropa at P157.83 million and Northern Mindanao at P134.34 million. 

Public Works and Highways Secretary Roger G. Mercado said 46 national road sections had been cleared and reopened. 

The reopening of roads allowed the National Government and local government units to immediately extend relief efforts especially in areas hit hard by the typhoon, he said in the statement. 

“While most are taking a break this holiday season, the DPWH quick response teams are out in the field working tirelessly to clear roads and help our fellowmen affected by Typhoon Odette,” he added. 

The agency said it was clearing three road sections in the Caraga region due to road slip, damaged detour road and bridge, soil slope collapse, road cut and sinking or collapsed pavement. 

The road sections included Dinagat-Loreto Road in San Jose, Mahayahay in Dinagat Islands; NJR Bayugan-Calaitan-Tandag Road in the village of Lucena, Prosperidad and NRJ Bah-Bah-Talacogon Road in the village of Berseba, Bayugan City both in Agusan del Sur province. 

Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Jonathan E. Malaya on Wednesday said the government was giving P4.8 billion in cash aid to 4.8 million typhoon survivors. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson and Revin Mikhael D. Ochave 

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