Localities begin preparing for El Niño impact

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 5) – A number of local government units are planning mitigation efforts for the looming El Niño which could impact different stakeholders and other vulnerable sectors in the coming months.

Metro Manila mayors on Friday agreed to create their own task forces soon to deal with a possible water crisis, with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) eyeing a centralized task force on water preservation.

RELATED: NWRB urges public to save water as El Niño looms

MMDA's policy-making body Metro Manila Council said it will seek help from the task forces on the possible regulation of water use in select establishments with high water consumption, including golf courses and resorts.

On May 2, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) raised the El Niño alert as it expects the prolonged dry season to begin in June and go on until the first quarter of 2024.

In the Bangsamoro region, where state meteorologists observed above-normal temperatures this summer, disaster management officials have begun drawing up action plans during a forum on Wednesday.

EXPLAINER: What is the heat index?

Norhashim Sinarimbo, an executive officer of Bangsamoro's Rapid Emergency Action on Disaster Incidence told locals that the pre-disaster risk assessment team was mobilized on Thursday to tackle the threats of an extended dry season.

The region’s Ministry of the Interior and Local Government will also "carefully study the phenomenon and the local situation to be able to formulate immediate action plans" for the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Council's approval, Sinarimbo said.

In a televised briefing on Friday, League of Provinces of the Philippines chairperson and Quirino Gov. Dakila Cua noted the need to address food production through collaboration between the public and private sectors.

RELATED: DA to study ₱15,000 El Niño subsidy for farmers, fisherfolk

On Wednesday, Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos issued a memorandum circular telling local chief executives to sustain mitigating efforts and take actions such as curbing illegal water connections and allowing concessionaires and other stakeholders to do emergency leak repairs.