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Contingency plan in place; new core team eyed as El Niño looms

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Saturday said a contingency plan is in place to respond to the looming El Niño that experts forecast to occur in the coming months. DILG Central Office Disaster Information Coordination Center (DILG-CODIX) Director Allan Tabel said the national government will form a new team to replace the old Task Force El Niño. ‘Ang utos ng Pangulo ay bumuo ng bagong team at tingnan ulit iyong mga planong ginawa at mga aksyon na nagawa na at tutukan iyong mga bagong activities na kailangan gawin, para ma-address itong bagong El Niño na hinaharap natin, so iyon po ang ginagawa ngayon (The President has ordered us to form a new team and we will look into the plans and actions done in the past to address this new El Niño),’ he said at the Saturday News Forum in Quezon City. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council also met last week to strategize as early as possible amid the formal creation of the response group. Tabel said relevant agencies are reviewing past measures to effectively respond to the phenomenon, taking stock of the country’s experience in 2019. ‘May mga ideas na rin na lumalabas – contribution ng NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority), ng Department of Agriculture, at sa ngayon ay unti-unti naming nabubuo iyong plano in addressing this new El Niño phenomenon (Ideas are being offered, contribution of NEDA, of Department of Agriculture, and as of now we are slowly completing the plan to address the new El Niño phenomenon),’ he said. ‘El Niño in two months’ The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the probability of the phenomenon occurring within the next two months has reached 70 percent. Analiza Solis, PAGASA’s Climate Monitoring and Prediction Section chief, warned that aside from drought, the public must also prepare for extreme weather when El Niño occurs, adding intense tropical cyclones were observed in the past. ‘Kapag mayroong ganitong paparating na El Niño, historically po mas matindi po ang ating habagat, maraming ulan ang dinudulot ng habagat natin (When we have El Niño, historically the southwest monsoon is more intense and brings a lot of rain),’ she said. ‘Hindi kami nananakot, but then iyon pong mga nangyari during Ondoy, Pepeng that was El Niño, pre-development din po ng El Niño, same. (We’re not trying to scare anyone but then what happened during Ondoy, Pepeng those were El Niño, those were pre-developments of El Niño),’ she added, referring to the tropical cyclones that happened a week apart in 2009. Amid the looming El Niño, Department of Energy (DOE) Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella assured that the power supply is enough to keep up with the demand in the country. He said the DOE is also monitoring the hydropower plants, especially in Luzon.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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