February 28, 2024

Members of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) have approved the city’s El Niño Action Plan for 2023 to 2025 during its 3rd quarter full council meeting last Aug. 9.

CDRRM Office (CDRRMO) officer-in-charge Louie Glenn Lardizabal said the approved plan is subject to additional contributions from other concerned agencies and will then be submitted to the city council for adoption.

The Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration reported the El Niño season in the country will likely develop from July to September this year and may persist until 2024.

El Niño increases the likelihood of below-normal rainfall conditions that could bring negative impacts like dry spells and droughts in some areas of the country. However, over its western part, above-normal rainfall conditions during the southwest monsoon season (habagat) may also be expected, the plan stated.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong, CDRRMC chair, earlier issued Executive Order 60, s. 2023, creating the City El Niño Task Force to spearhead the mitigation and preparedness measures for the El Niño phenomenon in the city.

The El Niño Action Plan is a derivative of the Local Climate Change Action Plan 2021-2023 and Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan 2023-2025 focused on addressing the effects of the weather phenomenon and provides the general framework of how the city prepares for it.

Lardizabal said while the plan covers three years of implementation, it can be enhanced or updated as often as deemed necessary.

The plan’s strategic goals are enhanced public awareness and preparedness; strengthened water resource management; health and social protection; promote climate-resilient agriculture and food security; strengthen DRRM; promote sustainable urban planning and land use; and collaboration, cooperation, coordination and support.

Also included are specific strategies for the achievement of each of the goals. – Gaby B. Keith