The Philippine weather bureau said the lower rainfall phenomenon of El Niño is not yet in effect, and rice farmers would have enough rainfall for the July to September planting season.
“There will be near to normal rain from July to September 2023,” said the Pagasa said in a statement.
Analyn Solis of Pagasa said the chances of feeling the effects of El Niño are getting higher, but the lower rainfall pattern in the coming months has not been established yet.
“The possibility of El Niño is high. In July, we will again issue an advisory with a forecast for affected provinces. Rainfall pattern is yet to arrive, when will the effect be. There is a reduction in rain, but it does not always mean drought. Rain potential is high today,” Solis said.
She said rainfall is expected to decrease in September and to drop further from October to December this year.
As this is the harvest season, low rainfall benefits rice farmers, said former Agriculture Secretary and Federation of Free Farmers president Raul Montemayor.
Pagasa’s rainfall forecast is only up to December.
“For December, 36 provinces will experience dry spell, drought for two provinces,” Solis said.
Farmer Rene Cerilla, in a forum conducted by Tugon Kabuhayan, said farmers are under the false impression that El Niño is arriving this July.
“That’s why it is so important for us to have the correct information so that we could make the right decisions and plan accordingly. If there is a shortage of water, we have to plant crops that don’t require as much water, like corn and monggo,” Cerilla said.
Norbert Chingcuanco, a convenor of Tugon Kabuhayan, said other government agencies should synchronize the information about the onset of El Niño.
He also urged them to have a unified message about the climate phenomenon.
“I heard on the radio on the way to work that the DOH is advising people to drink more water during El Niño. Many Filipinos are under the incorrect assumption that El Niño is already here, when according to Pagasa, it will arrive much later in the year. Because of this, nobody is planting anymore. We ask the government to synchronize its messaging and disseminate correct information,” Chingcuanco said. – PNA