The city government here has formed a task force to mitigate the effects of the El Niño phenomenon on residents and the agriculture sector. In Executive Order 10 issued on Thursday, Mayor Belen Fernandez, the chairperson of the task force, said coordinated efforts must be undertaken to prepare for the phenomenon and minimize its adverse effects on the people. ‘There is a need to constitute a task force to enhance inter-agency coordination in the formulation and implementation of measures to mitigate the effects, particularly in agriculture,’ she said. The task force will formulate comprehensive disaster preparedness and rehabilitation plan for the El Niño phenomenon to help the public cope and to minimize its disastrous effects. It will also regularly monitor the implementation of the plan. Fernandez said they would also conduct a massive information campaign to educate the public on the needed interventions, as well as enlist the help of any government agency. She added that they would also identify possible funding sources to implement the measures that would later be identified. ‘All government agencies and local government units are directed to extend full support to the task force,’ she said. The task force consists of the local chief executive, the head of the City Agriculture Office, the Public Alert Response and Monitoring Center, the City Veterinarian, the City Fire Marshal, the head of the fisherfolk, the chief of the Dagupan City Police, the head of the City Social Welfare and Development Office, members of the academe and the local weather bureau, a City Health officer, and other farmers, irrigators, and fisherfolk associations. Fernandez signed the EO forming the task force on May 10 and it immediately held a meeting on May 11. Dagupan City, although an urban area, has its agricultural lands and fishponds as the main source of livelihood for residents.
Source: Philippines News Agency