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Upgrade of El Niño response strategy urged

April 11, 2023 Jester P. Manalastas 251 views

A lawmaker is urging President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to consider the upgrade of the Roadmap to Address the Impact of El Nino (RAIN).

According to Deputy Speaker Batangas Representative Ralph Recto, the national government must do something so that the El Nino weather phenomenon will not seriously harm the country’s food, electricity and water supply.

The RAIN is a comprehensive strategy paper drafted by NEDA which guided the whole-of-nation’s response during the 2015-2016 El Nino episode.

“Meron ng blueprint sa ganitong emergency. Kailangan lang ay to dust it off and brush it up, so it will be attuned to the unique characteristics of the 2023 version of El Nino,” Recto said.

“Iyong agriculture natin meron ng preexisting comorbidities. On top of this is the recent combined fuel-fertilizer crisis. Foul weather should not be the third,” he added.

The solon emphasized that “scarcity in water leads to scarcity in food.”

This is not an alarmist statement. It is a fact, because without water, you cannot grow food,” Recto said.

Because water lack shrink planting areas, delay planting seasons and cut crop yields, a World Bank-cited study found that a “one degree increase in sea surface temperatures” led to a “3.7 percent decline in irrigated dry season production and a 13.7 percent decline in rainfed dry season production in Luzon.

El Nino also negatively impacts livestock and poultry as high temperatures can cause heat stress on animals.

“Umiinom ang hayop. At kailangan ang tubig upang panatilihing malinis at mapigilan ang sakit sa mga farms. May ASF na nga sa baboy, tapos dadagdag pa ang kakulangan sa tubig,” Recto said.