The administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. is working double time to significantly reduce the risk and negative impacts of the El Niño phenomenon.
Defense Senior Undersecretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said in his three-page report to the President that the government has reconstituted an “El Niño team” led by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) with other member-agencies.
The team is tasked to implement measures to mitigate the impact of El Niño on the country’s economy, natural resources, environment, climate change, disaster response, and peace and order.
Galvez said the reconstituted El Niño team is in response to the chief executive’s directive to implement a “Whole-Of-Government” and a “Whole-Of-Nation” approach to prepare for the possible impact of the extensive dry spell.
He added the reconstituted team is in consonance with the President’s directive of reviving the existing protocols and Task Force for El Niño as he emphasized that the current Expanded Roadmap for Addressing the Impact of El Niño (E-RAIN) will also be updated and enhanced.
An issuance of a resolution indicating the adoption of the existing E-RAIN framework is recommended, and if needed, a creation of a Technical Working Group is also suggested.
“The monitoring of resources, the recommendations of the concerned agencies and the strategies employed by the previous administrations shall be taken as inputs to enhance the E-RAIN framework,” Galvez told the President.
He emphasized the reconstituted El Niño team has agreed to update and improve the E-RAIN, specifically the areas of concern such as food security, water security, energy security, health and public safety.
Galvez said they have agreed to continue the existing structure of the El Niño Task Force as stated under EO No. 16 series of 2001 as amended by Memorandum No. 38, series of 2019, to include the local government units.
The local officials will work closely with other offices and gather the necessary data to be consolidated by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) while private sectors and other organizations must be involved with the adaptation of a “Whole-of-Nation” approach.
As part of the government’s efforts to address the possible impact of El Niño, Galvez said he will visit Cagayan Valley to personally assess the situation in the region being one of the most likely affected by the dry spell.
CATHERINE R CUETO