‘Detailed plans’; Capitol asks OPA’s programs for P15-M ‘El Niño’ budget

Posted by watchmen
April 30, 2023
Posted in HEADLINE


By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga

The Negros Occidental Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) was asked for detailed plans on how their proposed P15 million fund would be used to mitigate the effects of the El Niño phenomenon in the province.

Provincial administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz said they have not yet approved the requested fund as their submitted plans were “generalized.”

Diaz said they are asking for detailed plans and programs as to where the funds would be used.

However, he added that the provincial government has sufficient funds to combat the effects of the dry spell.

Earlier, OPA head Dr. Edmundo Raul Causing said they are also mulling the formation of a Provincial El Niño Task Force to cushion the effects of the looming El Niño phenomenon.

As part of preparations, according to Causing, they have already begun surveying the local government units on large swathes of rice fields.

The OPA has already convened with local rice farmers about their plans and suggestions that could help minimize the effects of the dry weather conditions, and to give them options.

Earlier, Department of Agriculture in Western Visayas regional director, Engineer Albert Barrogo, advised the local government units and their respective agriculture offices to form their El Niño Task Force ahead to help mitigate any calamities related to the dry weather conditions.

“[We are] preparing for the worst. The department is ready to extend interventions to affected areas,” Barrogo said.

El Niño, a weather phenomenon characterized by unusually warm ocean surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific, could affect the normal rainfall pattern in the country, generally resulting in reduced rainfall.

The state weather bureau, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), said over the weekend the probability of the weather phenomenon to occur within the next two months had already reached 70 percent.

Aside from the drought, the public must also prepare for extreme weather conditions when El Niño occurs, as intense tropical cyclones have experienced in the past years, Pagasa’s Climate Monitoring and Prediction Section chief, Analiza Solis, warned.

“When we have El Niño, the southwest monsoon is more intense and brings a lot of rain,” Solis said.

“We’re not trying to scare anyone but then what happened during [the past years], those were pre-developments of El Niño,” she added./With a report from PNA / DGB, WDJ

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