Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra (File photo)

MANILA – Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Wednesday assured assistance to workers of the department who were severely affected by Typhoon Odette.

“We are gathering information on affected DOJ employees and we’ll send them relief assistance, as we have done in the wake of past calamities,” Guevarra said in a message to reporters.

At least 11 people have been confirmed dead due to the onslaught of Typhoon Odette, based on the latest report of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

The agency said it is still validating reports of another 166 deaths due to the typhoon.

Two were confirmed injured while also undergoing validations are reports of another 273 injured and 38 missing.

“If there are bodies who cannot be identified by their own relatives or friends, I will request the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) forensic group to help in the identification,” Guevarra earlier said.

Ships are bringing relief goods and medical personnel to affected areas.

Presidential yacht, BRP Ang Pangulo, was converted into a floating hospital to serve Dinagat Islands and Siargao.

The BRP Gabriela Silang of the Philippine Coast Guard left Manila on Sunday and arrived in Surigao Tuesday morning carrying about 50 tons of relief goods and medical, rescue, and relief augmentation teams.

As of 5 p.m. on Monday, damage and losses in agriculture in Regions Calabarzon, Bicol, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Central Mindanao, Davao, and Caraga has amounted to PHP362.3 million, affecting 12,906 farmers and fishers, with volume of production loss at 20,319 metric tons and 23,438 hectares of agricultural areas but are still subject to validation, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Affected commodities include rice, corn, high-value crops, and fisheries.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees office in the Philippines, which is working with the Department of Social Welfare and Development, said on its website that nearly 490,000 people were displaced by the typhoon. (PNA)