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BFAR begins relief work in communities cut off by ‘Odette.’

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) launched relief activities in areas affected by Typhoon Odette on Thursday, using its floating assets.

“The DA-BFAR will go above and above in providing support to coastal areas affected by Super Typhoon Odette. More floating assets, including the M/V DA-BFAR, will be deployed in the following days to transport more humanitarian commodities and boat repair materials, according to Department of Agriculture (DA) -BFAR national director Eduardo Gongona.

The agency said in an email that the BRP Lapulapu would sail to the Caraga region and then to Eastern Visayas to deliver hundreds of sacks of rice, canned and dried goods, and hygiene kits from DA-regional BFAR’s offices in Central Luzon and Cagayan Valley during the first leg of a series of relief operations.

Aside from humanitarian measures, it has launched recovery efforts to assist Filipino fishermen in resuming their livelihoods as quickly as possible, he noted.

The BRP Lapulapu was also carried with a hundred pieces of marine engines and boat construction components for washed out and damaged boats.

For the two regions, the DA-BFAR authorized separate supplies for the building of 5,000 wooden and fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) boats.

According to the Department of Agriculture, damage and losses totaling PHP3.1 billion have been reported in the provinces of Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao, and Caraga, affecting 39,372 farmers and fishermen.

90,316 metric tons of production were lost, along with 65,432 hectares of agricultural land.

However, the DA also stated that before the weather stoppage, a total of 11,454 hectares of rice were harvested from Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Davao region, and Caraga, with an equal production of 34,433 metric tons worth PHP615.53 million.

Corn was harvested on a total of 2,452 hectares in Mimaropa, Calabarzon, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Davao area, and Caraga, resulting in a total yield of 6,965 metric tons worth PHP82.55 million.

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