February 28, 2024

The government has put in place water management strategies as part of its adaptation and mitigation efforts on the effects of the El Niño phenomenon on agricultural production.

In a statement, the Department of Agriculture said among the strategies being pushed is rainwater harvesting or the collection and storage of rainwater.

The DA encourages food producers to stock rainwater for future use, citing that the country sees an average rainfall volume of 2,348 millimeters.

It is also implementing other water management projects, such as the improvement of irrigation canals and other small-scale irrigation projects.

Another mitigation project is the replacement of unserviceable pumps and engine sets.

DA National El Niño Team Chairperson U-Nichols Manalo said they are closely working with operating units under the department to address the possible effects of the weather phenomenon.

“These are just some of the measures that the government has been doing early on to prevent production losses due to the dry spells that El Niño entails,” he said.

“We are constantly coordinating with different bureaus and agencies under DA so we can come up with a unified strategy to help our food producers improve production and increase income even during the possible drought.”

The DA is the lead agency tasked to ensure the food security agenda under an inter-agency task force, which includes the Departments of Trade, Labor, Interior, Social Work, and Energy, as well as the National Economic and Development Authority.

Other cooperating agencies are the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development under the Department of Science and Technology, and the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. under the Department of Finance.

Early this week, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. announced the government will release an El Niño mitigation plan to enable the public to take part in national actions to cushion the effects of the weather phenomenon.

Based on the latest advisory related to the presence of El Niño in the Tropical Pacific, weather experts expect an unusual warming of sea surface temperatures, which may lead to the strengthening of the abnormal weather phenomenon in the coming months.

The likelihood of below-normal rainfall is anticipated, causing dry spells and droughts in some areas of the country.

However, the western part of the country may still get above-normal rainfall due to the enhanced southwest monsoon. – PNA