Makati City Mayor Abby Binay announced on Monday, May 22, the creation of a task force in preparation for the upcoming El Niño phenomenon and its adverse effects.
Makati City Mayor Abby Binay
According to Binay, Task Force ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation) is tasked with linking the city government with other entities and groups in ensuring the continuous supply of water and electricity to Makatizens as the weather phenomenon is expected to have a massive effect on these utilities until the first three months of 2024.
"Nakipag-meeting tayo sa mga concessionaires natin ng tubig at ilaw sa Makati at pinaghanda sila ng mga contingency measures para sa inaasahang kakulangan ng supply sa tubig at kuryente. Naghanda na rin ang mga department sa City Hall na naghahatid ng mga social services at emergency response para sa ano mang krisis o emergency na maaaring mangyari (We held a meeting with our water and electricity concessionaires to know their contingency measures in preparation for the expected lack of supply of water and electricity during the El Niño season. We have also tasked the different departments at the City Hall responsible for delivering social services and emergency response to prepare for whatever crisis or emergency that may happen)," Binay said.
"Sisiguruhin ng Task Force ENSO na ligtas ang bawat isa at patuloy na naihahatid ang basic social services sa mga panahong nasa El Niño ang bansa. Halimbawa, hindi magkakaroon ng power interruption at kawalan ng supply ng tubig sa mga ospital at pangunahing opisina sa Makati City Hall (Task Force ENSO will ensure that everyone is safe and there will be continuous delivery of basic social services during the time the country is under the El Niño season. For example, there will be no power interruption and lack of supply of water in hospitals and other primary offices at the Makati City Hall)," she added.
The mayor explained that water concessionaires laid out their plans to ensure the continuous supply of water in houses and businesses in the city. Aside from deep wells and alternative water sources, Manila Water and Maynilad have opened their water treatment plants to supply water if ever their reserves reach the low level.
The two water concessionaires also conduct regular inspection and repair of their damaged or leaking pipes. If there is a water interruption, they will deploy their water tankers to barangays in Makati to bring clean water to residents.
Meanwhile, power concessionaire Meralco said that it may implement rotational brownouts if ever the electricity supply becomes thin.
"Naka-antabay na ang ating Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DRRMC) na umagapay kung magkakaroon ng water rationing sa mga piling lugar. Bukod pa dito ay maghahanda ng generators para sa mga kritikal na pasilidad o opisina para sa tuloy-tuloy na paghahatid ng serbisyo sa lahat (Our Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council is standing by to help if ever there will be water rationing in selected areas. Aside from this, critical facilities and offices will prepare generators to ensure supply to consumers)," Binay explained.
The local chief executive urged Makatizens to also do their part and be wise in using water and electricity.
"Ang maliit na kontribusyon ng isa ay magdadala ng malaking ginhawa para sa lahat kapag ganitong panahon ng krisis. Ang mga simpleng pamamaraan ng pagtitipid at masinop na paggamit ng tubig at kuryente ang tutulong sa ating lungsod na malampasan ang epekto ng El Niño (The small contribution of one will bring a big relief for everyone in this time of crisis. The simple way of being thrift and responsible in the use of water and electricity will help our city get through the effects of El Niño)," she stressed.
In a recent Metro Manila Council (MMC) meeting, MMC President and San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora urged local government units (LGUs) to create their own task force in preparation for the El Niño season.
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairperson Don Artes said that each task force will submit their proposed strategies to the MMC for evaluation.
“Recommendations will be consolidated and coordinated with the concerned government agencies for possible implementation and replication of efforts in other regions,” said the MMDA chief.