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Provinces affected by El Niño down to 41, says El Niño task group

MANILA -- The number of provinces affected by the El Niño phenomenon was reduced from 50 to 41, showing the government’s strong commitment and determination to address the problem, according to El Niño Task Force spokesperson and Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Assistant Secretary Joey Villarama.

“First off, a bit of good news. Doon sa initial o doon sa last report ng PAGASA, 50 provinces ang affected. Ngayon ay na-reduce na lang to 41,” Villarama said in a Palace briefing on Tuesday, quoting reports from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration.

Of the 41 provinces, Villarama said 17 provinces are experiencing dry conditions while 10 provinces are experiencing dry spell and 14 provinces are experiencing drought.

Villarama assured the public that the task force will continue implementing measures to stave off the effects of the El Niño phenomenon. He added they will particularly focus on the effects on the agriculture sector.

Among the ongoing measures against El Niño, he pointed out, include the ongoing repairs of irrigation systems in affected areas to ensure efficient water supply to crops, and the distribution of farm inputs and implements to farmers, particularly in the regions of Western Visayas and Zamboanga Peninsula.

Villarama also assured the task force is ready to provide alternative means of livelihood for farmers that will be greatly affected, noting the measures undertaken are aligned with the directive of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to a whole-of-government approach on mitigating the effects of El Niño.

“As the President has emphasized, our approach to El Niño is number one intervention. Number two, mitigation and then we enjoin everyone, it’s a whole of government approach,” Villarama said.

Taking steps for unforeseen events remains a challenge, Villarama said, emphasizing the task force is committed to carrying out the President’s order of taking proactive steps to respond to these unforeseen events.

“Basically, the challenge is for the unforeseen events but as I said, as the President mentioned in his speech in Davao last week, under ‘Bagong Pilipinas,’ we try to nip the problem in the bud, not let them catch us off guard,” he said.

The strong effects of El Niño are expected to persist until the end of March 2024. (PND)

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Andrea Bancud


Information II from the Creative Production Services Division of PIA Central Office who also writes scripts for IEC materials such as AVP, TV Commercial, Radio Commercial and print materials. 

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