Senator Binay asks agencies to reveal El Niño plans; raises food security concerns

Published February 23, 2019, 5:50 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Mario Casayuran 

Government agencies should start informing the public about their plans and programs to mitigate the possible negative impacts of ‘’El Niño,’’ Senator Nancy Binay said Saturday.

Senator Nancy Binay (Senate of the Philippines official Facebook page / AMNIAL BULLETIN)
Senator Nancy Binay
(Senate of the Philippines official Facebook page / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Are we prepared for the worse impacts of the weather system?” Binay asked.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Wednesday that ‘’El Nino’’ is now affecting the country. El Niño is characterized by reduced amounts of rainfall.

The state weather agency added that dry spell and drought had been observed in several provinces in Luzon and Mindanao from September 2018 to January 2019. These conditions were said to usher in El Niño.

“Nakakabahala po itong pagdating ng El Niño, lalo na sa ating mga magsasaka ng palay. Normally po ngayong Pebrero ay kakasimula pa lang nilang magtanim, pero kung walang mapapagkunan ng tubig pang-irigasyon ay laking pinsala sa kanila,” Binay said. (The negative effects of ‘’El Nino’’ are well known and it hurts the rice farmers the most. Normally, farmers begin planting in February. Farmers would be hurt bad if water could not flow from irrigation systems.)

“Alam din po nating may epekto ang El Niño, hindi lang sa pagsasaka, kundi pati na rin to those raising food animals such as chickens and pigs, so apektado ang ating food security,” she added. (El Nino does not only hurt farmers but also those raising animals such as chicken and pigs. So this affects our food security.)
The lady lawmaker said that some pests could also appear in the farms with the warm weather system, aside from occurrence of different diseases.

“May mga sakit din pong lumalabas kapag mainit ang panahon, so dapat pong malaman kung paano ito maiiwasan o malulunasan sakaling magkaroon,” Binay said. (There are many diseases that crop up during hot days. It is advisable that people should know how to avoid getting sick or how to treat them.

Binay said that special attention should be also given to the most vulnerable sectors such as the young, the old, and those with chronic conditions such as hypertension.