City Agri readies for dry spell forecast PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 September 2015 11:04

By JASMINE MOHAMMADSALI

Relative to the El Niño advisory issued by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the City Agriculture is gearing up to mitigate the possible effects of El Niño and to adequately prepare farmers and fisherfolks for the dry spell in the City.

City Agriculturist Diosdado Palacat said in response to the PAGASA forecast, the Disaster Preparedness Plan 2016 (El Niño/La Niña), mitigation and adaptation plan, was submitted to City Mayor Beng Climaco for inclusion on the City Budget Allocation of 2016 under the 70% Disaster Preparedness Assistance.

The plan details responses to the dry spell which may occur in the last quarter of 2015 until early 2016, including the provision of seeds for rehabilitation, crop protection facilities, pesticides, fisheries supply such as bangus fry and prawn fry, cloud seedling, and critical tools like drilling rigs and water pumps.

Citing the forecast as “very alarming”, Palacat advocated for prayers, vigilance, and adequate preparation. Currently, the Office of the City Agriculturist is conducting continuous meeting and advocacy campaigns to inform and prepare farmers and fisherfolks for the possible dry spell.

Palacat also advises farmers to plant vegetables and short maturing rice variables and to maximize the use of their planting land.

The state weather agency on August 5, 2015 issued El Niño Advisory No. 6 which reported the persistence of moderate El Niño conditions across the equatorial Pacific Ocean. The advisory further reports that “leading climate models suggest that it may intensify from moderate to strong El Niño in the coming months (last quarter of 2015) and may last until early 2016”.

The forecast has also been relayed to City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer Elmeir Apolinario, said Palacat.

Below normal rainfall is predicted over Zamboanga Peninsula as well as the provinces of Palawan, Camarines Norte, Guimaras, Negros Island region, Central Visayas, Region XII and ARMM except Cotabato and Lanao del Sur respectively, said the advisory.

While the weather agency will continue to closely monitor the tropical Pacific, it advised concerned agencies to take precautionary measures to mitigate the potential impacts of the El Niño phenomenon. — Jasmine Mohammadsali