By Freddie Lazaro
LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte – – The provincial government of Ilocos Norte held a water summit to discuss measures that will cushion the effect of El Niño.
Edwin Cariño, the head of the Sustainable Development Center (SDC) in the province, said farmer and irrigator associations, crop grower federations, agriculturists, the academe, and other sector stakeholders attended the 3rd Water Summit at the Ilocos Norte Centennial Arena last week.
Officials and representatives of the Department of Agriculture (DA), National Irrigation Authority (NIA), and Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) were also present.
“We have at least five measures that are readily implementable to cushion the impact of El Niño: rain harvesting, switching to short-gestation crops that do not require abundant water to grow – such as monggo (mung beans), watermelon, and pechay (Chinese white cabbage), the use of enhanced fertilizers having better water-retention properties, installation of pond liners to serve as reservoirs, and the use of gray water to avoid wastage and maximize water use,” said Cariño.
Cynthia Iglesias, chief meteorological officer of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA) in Laoag City, said the effect of El Niño in the province was still minimal.
Just the same, John Teodoro, the manager of the Ilocos Norte Water District (INWD), advised the public to save water.
A similar call was aired by Vic Dabalos of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Ilocos Norte,
Dr. Marvin Quilates of DA Regional Field Unit, presented helpful agricultural practices, organic fertilizer utilization, and water management tips.
The first Provincial Water Summit was held in 2014 to push for long-term water management planning to prevent water shortages in Ilocos Norte. The event continues to be a priority of Gov. Imee R. Marcos in ensuring sustainability in the province’s agriculture sector.