With El Niño’s effects starting to be felt, state of preparedness in Cebu pushed

By: Futch Anthony Inso March 18,2019 - 09:43 PM

The Buhisan dam’s water level has already reduced by at least nine meters./Tonee Despojo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) has approved a resolution declaring a state of preparedness in the whole province of Cebu, which is in relation with the weak El Niño that has already affected the farmers in the province.

“So far, the governor is about to sign for the state of preparedness executive order,” Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) Chief Baltazar Tribunalo said in a press briefing on Monday, March 18.

Water levels down

Tribunalo said that since Thursday, Friday and today (Monday), they’ve already sent four teams to different local government units (LGUs) in the province to conduct rapid assessments to determine the extent of the damage caused by dry spell on agriculture.

Based on their initial assessment, in San Remigio town, levels of all water wells have already gone down by almost two meters; the Bogo Water District in Bogo City has experienced low water production affecting the whole city’s supply of water; while some private water suppliers in Bogo City, Naga City, San Fernando, and some parts of Cebu City and Mandaue City have experienced insufficient supply of water.

They have also observed the production reduction of water supply in Mananga Dam from 33,000 cubic meters to 24,500 cubic meters which was commissioned by the Metro Cebu Water District (MCWD) affecting the  cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Talisay, and Lapu-Lapu; and towns of Consolacion, Liloan, Compostela and Cordova.

Rationing, PWRB

Some areas are now implementing rationing of water supply.

“Ang akoa, we are thinking nga ang Provincial Water Resource Board moapil pod. Mo-convene pod kay para dili lang tutok sa mag-uuma, mangingisda, pero tan-awon nato ang kinatibuk-ang impact sa pagkunhod sa tubig. Dapat pro-active ta,” he added.

(For my part, we are thinking that Provincial Water Resource Board will join us. We want them to convene so that our focus will not only be on the farmers and fishermen, but also on the whole impact on the lowering of the water supply. We should be pro-active on our approach.)

The report suggested constructing rainwater catchment, making sure that faucets are properly closed, recycling of used water, and other water conservation techniques.

Shrinking crops, fishkill

Baltazar Tribunalo, Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council head /CDN file photo

The PDRMMO has also observed shrinking and drying of crops due to intense heat in the cities and towns of Talisay, Toledo, Minglanilla, Alcoy, Tuburan, Tabuelan, San Remigio, Carmen, Bogo, Liloan, Malabuyoc, Alegria, Badian, and Alcantara.

Some coffee farms in Tuburan, Tabuelan, San Remigio and Carmen in northern Cebu have also been affected due to dry spell.

“Naa natay mga women’s group, women’s association ug farmers nga ni-request nato og baril. So mao na nga nag-instruct nato si governor ug vice-governor nga kung asa to nga naay immediate requirement, paadtoan dayon through closely coordinating with the provincial social welfare,” he said.

(We now have women’s groups, women’s associations, and farmers who are requesting for water drums. So we recommended to the governor and vice governor to immediately send somebody to find out what are needed and their immediate requirements and address them through closely coordinating with the provincial social welfare office.)

The provincial government has also received reports about fish kills in aquaculture livestock in the town of Cordova and a significant decrease in fish catch of fishermen.

He added that depending on the result of their rapid assessment, the council might as well recommend to the governor to declare a state of calamity so that the provincial government could utilize its quick response fund amounting to P60 million.

Tribunalo also encouraged local government units (LGUs) to declare a state of calamity if the need would arise, so that they could use their funds to address any potential damage caused by the dry spell.

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TAGS: council, disaster, El Niño, level, management, PDRRMC, PDRRMO, preparedness, provincial, reduction, risk, state, tribunalo, water

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