December 1, 2023

The Office of Civil Defense said it is now starting the implementation phase for interventions to mitigate the effects of the El Niño phenomenon.

“We are in the implementation phase because the situation calls for the immediate execution of the needed interventions. Now, to make the plan more comprehensive and encompassing, we are in discussion with private, local and international organizations,” OCD Administrator Ariel Nepomuceno said in a statement.

Part of the government masterplan to counter the impacts of El Niño is to save vulnerable agricultural areas through appropriate water management while irrecoverable areas will be rehabilitated.

Nepomuceno also cited the need to have effective plans to guide all actions and are “inclusive and considerate of the different circumstances” communities that might be affected by the long dry spell.

The National El Niño team met with several private and international partners to tackle further plans and activities in addressing the impacts of El Niño.

Agencies such as the departments of Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources, Energy, Health, and the Interior and Local Government presented their plans and activities for the areas of food security, water security, energy security, health, and public safety, respectively.

Joining the discussion with government agencies were officers and representatives from the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), Arise Philippines, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) and UN-Food and Agriculture Organization (UN-FAO).

The PDRF said it is implementing interventions in the priority areas or key sectors identified by the government.

One of these is the ongoing collaboration with the DOE in the implementation of the national energy contingency plan to ensure energy security.

The Pagasa reported that a mode-rate El Niño is present in the tropical Pacific and will strengthen further in the coming months. 

President Ferdinand marcos, Jr. ordered the creation of a team to handle the mitigation, preparedness, response, and rehabilitation efforts for the El Niño phenomenon. – PNA