By Liezle Basa Iñigo
LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) held a climate outlook forum to address climate change concerns in the province.
A joint effort of PAGASA with the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), the Provincial Climate Outlook Forum was conducted on Wednesday, March 13 at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center Restaurant in this town.
The forum aims to enhance the understanding of the status and effects of El Niño in the province thereby recognizing the need for El Niño mitigation strategies and interventions.
“It also intends to build the capacity of professionals at the local level on the utilization of climate information in decision-making related to agriculture, water resource management, public health and disaster management,” Edna Juanillo, chief of Climatology and Agrometeorology Division of PAGASA, said.
Participants were agriculture officers, disaster risk reduction and management officers, and member-agencies of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
Topics discussed include weather update; hydro-meteorological hazards; climate of the place and El Niño/La Niña variability; climate review; El Niño update and outlook; and PAGASA products and services.
Shallom Gideon Balolong of PDRRMO-Pangasinan also shared the El Niño mitigation strategies which have been implemented by the provincial government.
Likewise, the intervention efforts for agriculture include the installation of 287 shallow tube wells and 347 irrigation pumps; repair and rehabilitation of seven communal irrigation systems; reforestation of a mountain in Bugallon town where 7,000 saplings have already been planted; and fingerlings disposal.
“Flagship disaster programs such as Ligtas at Aktibong Pamayanan and Dunong Kaalaman at Kaligtasan of the provincial government are also being undertaken to educate and engage the tech-savvy millennials, barangay officials and vulnerable sectors regarding their roles and responsibilities in reducing disaster risks in their own community through active participation in DRRM activities and social media as able and knowledgeable individuals,” Balolong added.
Likewise, PDRRMO, is closely monitoring the effects of El Niño on fisheries, livestock, water supply, vulnerable sectors, among others with the help of its partner agencies.