SOGOD, Southern Leyte (PIA) -- For the fisherfolks in this central town of the province, they would rather have no houses than boats for their fishing livelihood.

"Their request is for government to prioritize their fishing needs, their main source of livelihood. They need bancas," Mayor Imelda Tan of Sogod, Southern Leyte said in an interview Tuesday at her office.

Typhoon Odette on Thursday, December 16, destroyed many fishing boats along the coastal areas of the town, if not carried away by the raging waters and gone for good.

Tan said, quoting the sentiments of the fishers, that if only they can go back to the sea soonest, they will stop depending on the government, the LGU, for food packs.

Also as of Tuesday, Mayor Tan reported that 4,211 houses were partially damaged, and 2,271 houses were totally shattered, for a total of 6,482 affected houses.

But again, as far as the fishers are concerned, they would choose a sea-going vessel first than have their houses repaired or built anew, as mentioned earlier by the mayor.

Meanwhile, more than 2,400 families are still staying at various evacuation centers, Mayor Tan also reported. (LDL/MMP/PIA 8-Southern Leyte)