A team was formed by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) that has an end aim of conducting studies to address the impacts of El Niño.
According to the NDRRMC, they had an interagency meeting led by the Department of the Interior and Local Government with Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Office of Civil Defense (OCD), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), National Irrigation Administration (NIA), and Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) as members.
There will be a support team composed of the Presidential Communications Office (PCO), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Water Resources Board (NWRB), and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
According to NDRRMC Executive Director and Civil Defense Administrator Undersecretary Ariel Nepomuceno there is a need for an interagency team to address the impacts of the weather phenomenon.
“There are several points that we need to address. We need to prepare for the possible worst-case scenario and identify and harmonize short term solutions, medium term, and long-term solutions,” he said.
Earlier, the state weather bureau PAGASA said that based on the findings on the El Niño phenomenon, it may be felt as early as June to August 2023.
The severity will increase as the months go by, until the first quarter of 2024.
The PAGASA El Niño forecast said that the following regions areas expected to experience below normal rainfall conditions: Abra; Albay; Apayao; Batanes; Benguet; Cagayan; Guimaras; Ifugao; Ilocos Sur; Isabela; Kalinga; Laguna; La Union; Metro Manila; Mountain Province; Nueva Ecija; Occidental Mindoro; Oriental Mindoro; Pampanga; Quezon; Quirino; Rizal; Spratly Islands; Tarlac; and Zambales.
Meanwhile, the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Bataan and Cavite are already experiencing way below normal rainfall conditions.
The said phenomenon is expected to impact health, energy, environment and water reservoirs in the country.
Catherine R. Cueto