The National El Niño Team met with private and international partners to coordinate its plans to address the impacts of the climate phenomenon.
Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Administrator Undersec. Ariel Nepomuceno said representatives of different government agencies tasked to help mitigate the impact of El Niño gathered at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City on Tuesday, August 29, to discuss the harmonization of their plans, programs and activities with representatives from the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), Arise Philippines, United Nations for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) and UN-Food and Agriculture Organization (UN-FAO).
“We have already published the national action plan that outlines the short, medium, and long term interventions that we tackled in our previous meetings. However, this document is now being updated as we consult with our partner organizations and as the respective departments implement their interventions,” Nepomuceno said.
Representatives from the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Health (DOH), and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) presented their plans and activities to ensure food security, water security, energy security, health, and public safety once El Niño starts.
El Niño could be experienced in the fourth quarter of 2023 and may likely be felt until the first quarter of 2024, the team said.
During this period, the likelihood below-normal rainfall conditions is increased, which could bring negative impacts in some areas of the country such as dry spells and droughts.
“We are in the implementation phase because the situation calls for the immediate execution of the needed interventions. Now, to make the plan more comprehensive and encompassing, we are in discussion with private, local and international organizations,” Nepomuceno said.
“We need effective plans to guide all actions, plans that are inclusive and considerate of the different circumstances of communities affected by El Niño,” he added.
The PDRF bared that it was collaborating with the Department of Energy (DOE) in the implementation of the national energy contingency plan to ensure energy security.
Meanwhile, the UN-OCHA and UN-FAO highlighted the support given by the UN humanitarian country team in the previous El Niño experiences, including the distribution of farming equipment to agricultural folk.
At present, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) that a moderate El Niño is already present in the tropical Pacific and will strengthen further in the coming months.