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‘Whole-of-nation’ approach to address El Niño in the PH

QUEZON CITY (PIA) -- The Marcos administration is exerting efforts to reduce the risk and cushion the negative impacts of El Niño on the country after the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) raised the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Alert and Warning System to alert level.

To ensure that all measures have been considered and maximized, the government has now reconstituted its El Niño Team to be led by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) with other member agencies.

The El Niño Task Force and its existing protocols on the previously issued Executive Order (EO) 16 s. 2001 were revived, in response to President Marcos' directive to implement a “whole-of-government” and “whole-of-nation” approach to prepare for the possible impact of the extensive dry spell.

It is mandated to formulate a comprehensive disaster preparedness and rehabilitation plan for El Niño, monitor the implementation of the plan, and conduct a massive public information campaign.

They would be also enhancing and updating the current Expanded Roadmap for Addressing the Impact of El Niño (E-RAIN) to focus on areas of concern such as food security, water security, energy security, health, and public safety.

Moreover, the newly reconstituted team agreed to continue the existing structure which is composed of the following agencies:
Department of Agriculture, Department of National Defense, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Health, Department of Education, Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, Philippine Information Agency, and National Commission for Indigenous People.

Meanwhile, as amended by Memorandum No. 38, series of 2019, the EO also directs all government agencies and local government units to extend full support for the task force. Private sectors and other organizations, on the other hand, are also enjoined to be involved with the adaptation of a “Whole-of-Nation” approach.

As of May 14, the PAGASA recorded areas that have experienced a “danger” heat index ranging from 42 to 47 degrees Celsius. Dipolog City in Zamboanga del Norte with 47 degrees Celsius topped the list of areas with the highest heat index recorded at 3 PM. Other areas with “danger” heat included Butuan City, Agusan Del Norte, CLSU Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, Dagupan City, Pangasinan and Legazpi City, Albay, Masbate City, Masbate and NAIA in Pasay City – all with 43 degrees Celsius. Meanwhile, areas of Davao City in Davao del Sur, Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental, Laoag City in Ilocos Norte, Roxas City in Capiz, and Zamboanga City in Zamboanga del Sur all have a heat index of 42 degrees Celsius.

Based on the weather bureau’s monitoring of conditions and model forecasts, it indicates that a warmer season may emerge in the coming season (June-July-August) at 80% probability and may persist until the first quarter of 2024.

El Niño is characterized by unusually warmer than average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) at the central and eastern equatorial Pacific (CEEP). It increases the likelihood of below-normal rainfall conditions, which could have negative impacts such as dry spells and droughts in the country. (KSAA – PIA CPSD with information from PCO)

About the Author

Kate Shiene Austria

Information Officer III

Information Officer III under the Creative and Production Services Division of the Philippine Information Agency. 

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