City maps out action plan vs. el niño

BAGUIO CITY – The city government mapped out an action plan to address the impact of the El Nino phenomenon expected to affect the country from the last quarter of 2015 to the first semester of 2016.

The action plan contains the consolidated plans, programs and activities (PPAs) before, during and after the climate cycle of agencies involved in the four core concerns namely food security, energy security, health and safety.

City planning and development coordinator Evelyn Cayat who convened the El Nino action meeting last Oct. 16 said the plan will make up the city’s Roadmap to Address the Impact of El Nino (RAIN).

The city’s RAIN was submitted to the National Economic and Development Authority Cordillera (NEDA-CAR) to form part of the initial report to be submitted by the El Nino Task Force to President Benigno S. Aquino III.

El Nino is an abnormal warming of surface ocean waters in the eastern tropical Pacific which causes drought, increase in temperature and erratic weather patterns that result to stronger typhoons and monsoon rains.

Weather specialists predict that this year’s climate cycle could be one of the strongest to be felt in 65 years and will affect at least 32 provinces in the country.

Various agencies participated in the preparation of the action plan including the Department of Trade and Industry-Cordillera Administrative Region (DTI-CAR) for the food security; Baguio Water District (BWD) for water supply; Benguet Electric Cooperative Inc. (BENECO) for energy security; the City Health Services Office for health concerns; the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources Cordillera (DENR-CAR) for environment; and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) for the safety concern.

Under the health aspect, the PPAs center on handling the various diseases and health threats for the duration of the El Nino with preemptive actions focusing on health information dissemination activities, trainings of health workers, stockpiling of equipment, medicines and supplies at health centers, enhancement of surveillance, among others.

El Nino onslaught measures focus on mobilization and deployment of outbreak responders and clinical management while aftermath actions center on post-outbreak assessment, recovery and reconstruction.

On water security, preparation measures include bulk water supply outsourcing, watershed management, protection and preservation, water conservation advocacy, underground aquifer management, drilling and exploration, rainwater harvesting and systems loss prevention.

During the El Nino, priority will be given to the equitable distribution of water supply, cloud seeding, conservation advocacy, tapping assistance of private water supplier and water recycling and after the calamity, the focus will be seeking national support to decentralize the police power to apprehend illegal water exploration, desalination, management of surface and underground water storage, well rehabilitation, water exploration and protection of watershed reservations.

On food security, the focus will be on regular price and supply monitoring of prime commodity sources and retailers, assessment of market situation during disaster and replenishment of inventory by tapping local distributors, manufacturers and government assistance and conduct of diskwento caravans in affected areas.

On safety concern, actions include the fixing of budget allocation for water supply, continuous training and education of the various sectors on fire and disaster prevention, determination of fire and disaster-prone areas, drilling and restoration of water reservoir beside the fire station and information-education campaign and mobilization of personnel and volunteers to respond to emergency situations./A Refuerzo


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