The Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) continues to expand its relief and recovery drive in coastal communities affected by Super Typhoon Odette.

DA-BFAR’s multi-mission vessels have been deployed to fast-track the recovery of Odette-stricken coastal areas. More than Php 6 million worth of relief goods and food packs including frozen fish, rice, sardines, clothes, and hygiene kits have been distributed to affected fisherfolk in Regions IV-B, VI, VII, VIII, X, and CARAGA.

The Bureau was able to provide Php 32.5 million worth of repair materials for damaged wooden and fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP) boats including marine plywood, marine engines, copper nails, paints, and other materials to Regions VII, VIII, and CARAGA.

Aside from the repair materials, 150 units of 20-foot FRP boats were turned over to Region VII, 48 units of 20-foot FRP boats and 150 units of repair materials for damaged boats went to Region VIII, and 150 units of 20-foot FRP Boats and 250 units worth of construction materials for wooden boats went to the heavily affected region of CARAGA.

Based on the latest Fisheries Damage and Loss Assessment Report, it has been estimated that the fisheries sector in Regions IV-A, MIMAROPA, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI and CARAGA has incurred a total of Php 3.97 billion worth of damages and losses due to Typhoon Odette. As a stopgap measure, the DA has allocated Php 50 million for BFAR under the Quick Response Fund for the rehabilitation and recovery of damages in the fisheries sector through its Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan.

The Bureau aims to effectively communicate the needs of fisherfolk in times of humanitarian crisis through livelihood programs such as distribution of seaweed propagules, and seaweed farm implements, provision of cages, and repair and provision of boats, distribution of fishing gears/paraphernalia, repair of damaged Community Fish Landing Centers, and rehabilitation of Technology Outreach Stations and hatcheries.