Marcos calls on Filipino people to be prepared for El Niño phenomenon

PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. called on Wednesday for a whole-of-nation approach in combatting the effects of El Niño phenomenon, which is expected to last until the second quarter of 2024 as he reminded government agencies to fast track the completion of irrigation facilities and other structures.

“We must be prepared to counter its effect, which may last until the second quarter of 2024,” President Marcos said in his speech during the inauguration ceremony of the Balbalungao Small Reservoir Irrigation Project (BSRIP) in Nueva Ecija.

President Marcos reminded the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) to immediately complete the construction of irrigation facilities and other supporting structures based on the needs of the Filipino farmers who will likely be affected by the dry spell.

The President said the government and the Filipino people should work hand in hand to prepare for the worst effects of El Niño, stressing the need to fast track the construction of irrigation projects and other projects that will help address the phenomenon.

The chief executive said he has given the government agencies a deadline to accomplish all El Niño-related mitigation projects.

“Kaya’t itong ganitong klaseng proyekto ay naging mas mahalaga pa at naging mas urgent pa. Kaya’t dahil kakauntin na lang ang ating natitirang panahon … meron tayong apat na buwan para tapusin lahat ‘yan, maging operational na lahat ‘yan,” President Marcos said.

“Dahil ang ginawa kong deadline para sa ating mga departamento ay kako sa kanila, ang isipin natin ano ba ‘yung kaya nating matapos by April of next year, nang sa ganun pagdating – pag Mayo ay nandiyan pa ‘yung tagtuyo’t at hindi pa umuulan ay mayroon naman tayong sapat na water supply,” he added.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said 65 provinces across the country will be affected by a potential for drought while around six provinces by potential dry spell. 

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