El Niño Team tackles mitigation efforts in coordination meeting

The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) said government agencies that are part of the El Niño Team are now integrating efforts to mitigate the impacts of the weather phenomenon that is expected to persist until the first quarter of 2024. ‘We need to ensure that we are prepared for the possible impacts of El Niño by integrating the efforts of each agency for a whole-of-government approach. But this work is not just on us in the government. The entire nation must take part in mitigating the possible impacts of this climate phenomenon,’ OCD administrator Undersecretary Ariel Nepomuceno said in a statement late Wednesday. This came after Wednesday’s coordination meeting of the team, where various interventions for different sectors were discussed. These include measures on food security tackled by the Department of Agriculture (DA), water security by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), energy security by the Department of Energy (DOE), health area by the Department of Health (DOH), and public safety led by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), were discussed. The lead agency for each sector presented interventions, adopting the four thematic pillars of Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) — prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response, and rehabilitation and recovery. Different projects, activities and programs (PAPs) on water management, crops, fisheries, and livestock, which ensure food availability, accessibility, safety and price stability, were presented by the DA. Meanwhile, the DENR – National Water Resources Board along with the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) provided updates on their actions and mitigation measures for water security. The DOE discussed the power situation and outlook. The department is tasked to ensure adequate energy supply, efficient management of power distribution and promotion of energy efficiency and conservation. On updates for the health sector, the DOH reported its ongoing El Niño health promotion activities, preparations for health facilities, surveillance of related cases, among others. On the other hand, the DILG, the lead agency for public safety, reported efforts to reduce possible fire incidents, and peace and order monitoring and implementation in communities. The identified interventions of each agency are included in the short-, medium- and long-term plans of the National Action Plan for El Niño. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) earlier said the phenomenon is showing signs of strengthening in the coming months. Near normal rainfall conditions are likely to be experienced in August and September, while below to near normal in October. Most areas will experience below-normal rainfall conditions from November this year to January 2024, the weather bureau added. Dry conditions are expected in 40 provinces while dry spells in 26 provinces are seen by the end of December this year. Various agencies are also implementing preparedness measures and public information campaigns to raise awareness on the impact of El Niño

Source: Philippines News Agency