Palace assures gov't prepared for El Nino

Posted at 05/04/14 2:08 PM

MANILA -- The government is ready to put in place measures to protect Filipinos with the onset of the El Niño weather phenomenon.

In an interview with radio dzRB, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the entire Cabinet and other attached government agencies have been preparing since January, noting that climate change mitigation and adaptation is one of the priority measures under the Philippine Development Plan.

Coloma assured the public that there is no need to worry about food and water supply.

“Food supply is the main priority of the Department of Agriculture. Under the 2015 budget, there are concrete programs to ensure food supply in case of calamities or disasters such as [crop] diversification,” he said.

The public should also not worry about water rationing.

“There is no such discussion. There is no need to worry,” he said.

At this point, the public should be informed well of the consequences of El Niño and “ensure discipline in the use of water,” he said.

According to the Department of Science and Technology, El Niño is likely to occur in June and persist up the first quarter of 2015.

Under El Niño, dry spells all over the country will be felt, although we may still experience erratic behavior from typhoons.

Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration hydrologist Richard Orendain had warned that the water elevation in Angat Dam, which provides 97 percent of Metro Manila’s potable water requirement, will go down its critical level around August.