December 8, 2023

Enterprises are advised to take precautionary measures against El Niño and its adverse impacts, as the weather phenomenon is anticipated to develop over the next few months and persist up to the first quarter of 2024.

The Pagasa has predicted an 80 percent possibility of El Niño season between June and August 2023 and a 41 percent chance of more significant ocean surface warming later in the year.

It warns that El Niño can increase the likelihood of below-normal rainfall conditions, which could have negative impacts such as dry spells and droughts in some areas of the country.

However, over the western part of the country, above-normal rainfall conditions during the southwest monsoon season (habagat) may also be expected, Pagasa said.

El Niño threatens the country’s critical lifeline utilities and livelihood, particularly in the areas of water supply and agriculture, according to experts and resource persons at a recent virtual briefing on El Niño organized by the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF).

As the extreme weather condition looms this year, several measures are already being implemented by different sectors to mitigate its effects, the participants said.

The government, led by Department of the Interior and Local Government, has revived the El Niño Task Force to address significant areas of concern during El Niño.

DILG Director Edgar Allan Tabell said the new task force will use protocol-based and long-term scientific processes and take a whole-of-nation approach involving the private sector, non-government and civil society organizations, academe, and other stakeholders.

More recently, the government also created the Water Resources Management Office (WRMO) under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

DENR Usec. Carlos Primo David explained that WRMO is mandated to solve conflicts among government water agencies.

Created through Executive Order 22 in April, the WRMO will address the challenges affecting the management of water resources in the country, such as the fragmented water and sanitation sector, increasing demand for water due to population and economic growth, impacts of climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic, lack of infrastructure, and inconsistent government regulations. – Press release