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Gov't agencies in Central Visayas bare mitigation efforts vs dry spell caused by El Niño

CEBU CITY, Cebu, February 12 (PIA) -- Member agencies of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council 7 (RDRRMC7) has set their respective preparedness measures to mitigate the impact of the dry spell in Central Visayas caused by the El Niño phenomenon.

“It is important that we convene and have this emergency meeting so as to tackle the reactivation of the National El Niño Team as we brace for the effects of El Niño here in our region,” said Engr. Neil Balaba, officer-in-charge of the Office of Civil Defense and RDRRMC7 chairperson.

The council members discussed the reactivation of the National El Niño Team pursuant to Memorandum Circular No. 05, s. 2023, issued by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) in October 2023.

The National El Niño Team will focus on five key areas: food security led by the Department of Agriculture (DA), water security led by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), energy security led by the Department of Energy (DOE), health security led by the Department of Health (DOH), and public safety led by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Meanwhile, the strategic communication unit is headed by the Philippine Information Agency and the Department of Information and Communication Technology.

“We expect our member agencies to prepare and implement their own mitigation efforts in line with the function of the National El Niño Team,” Balaba said.

During an emergency meeting organized by RDRRMC7, the lead agencies of the five key areas presented their action plans to address the adverse effects of the El Niño phenomenon.

Buffer stocking

DA7 will monitor and update the conditions of the fields and conduct buffer stocking of agricultural products.

The agency will also maximize and optimize production in non-threatened areas by providing seeds, fertilizers, and planting materials for farmers.

Water conservation

DENR-7 has adopted water conservation measures to reduce non-revenue water or system losses by preventing leakages and checking illegal water connections.

They also directed barangay officials, condominiums, and subdivision managers to advise their residents to conserve water.
Reliable power supply

DOE Visayas will conduct close monitoring for the timely completion of power generation transmission projects in the region for a reliable power supply.

The energy department vowed to ensure emergency backup power systems, such as modular generator sets, in critical areas such as health care facilities and evacuation sites.

They also advised households and government offices to practice energy efficiency and conservation measures.

Code White Alert

DOH7 has issued a “Code White Alert,” which mandates local health offices to implement appropriate measures ensuring that all health services will be readily available.

The health department will also conduct continuous monitoring, provide rapid health assessments, and hold health emergency response activities.

Communicate government efforts

PIA7, as one of the lead agencies of the Strategic Communication Unit, will continue to use its communication platforms to disseminate relevant information related to El Niño.

The agency will produce stories focusing on government efforts to ease the impact of El Niño and share public advisories through its social media platforms.

Regional El Niño Task Force

RDRRMC7 will streamline the functions of the National El Nino Team in the regional level by forming a Regional El Nino Task Force.

To gather real-time updates and check the status on the implementation of the preparedness measures and efforts of its member agencies, the council has agreed to conduct a meeting twice a month as El Niño is expected to persist through the month of February, according to the PAGASA Visayas. (RGC/PIA 7 Cebu) 

About the Author

Robinson Cabardo Jr

Information Officer I

Region 7

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