Too little, too late aid for farmers, fishers affected by Odette

One month after supertyphoon Odette struck the Philippines, calamity-stricken farmers and fishers are still awaiting aid from the government as they demand rehabilitation assistance for their damaged crops and houses. Among the hardest hit were Bohol, Cebu, Leyte and Panay in Visayas and Surigao provinces and Dinagat island in Caraga.

“Farmers and fishers are still in dire need of relief aid and rehabilitation assistance. One month after Odette, they are still awaiting significant efforts from the government,” says Danilo Ramos, chairperson of KMP. Pagkain, tubig na inumin at serbisyong pangkalusugan ang kailangan ng mamamayan. Hindi pa sila makabalik sa kanilang mga kabuhayan — pagsasaka at pangingisda kaya kailangan nila ng kagyat na ayuda mula sa gobyerno. “The government should address this worsening humanitarian crisis caused by extreme climate events.”

KMP said the DSWD and DA should heed demands for P10,000 cash aid and P15,000 production subsidy for farmers and fishers affected by Odette. Farmers and fishers also need a minimum of P10,000 in Emergency Shelter Assistance for their damaged houses.

Based on the latest reports, the estimated agricultural damage caused by Odette has reached P13.4 billion.

Almost half a million farmers and fisherfolk were affected with a lost production of 267,809 metric tons (MT) in volume across 449,316 hectares of agricultural land.

Damaged crops include rice, corn, high-value crops, coconut, sugarcane, abaca, livestock, and fisheries. Odette’s damage to agriculture will also put in peril the country’s food security status.

The DA announced an allocation of at least P1-billion for typhoon-stricken areas. However, aid is not reaching poor farmers, especially in far-flung areas. Communities have yet to receive much-needed ayuda or aid from the government.

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