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PIA Press Release

NDCC, LGUs set measures in place as El Niņo looms

Negros Occidental (22 January) -- Before the anticipated El Niņo phenomenon hit its peak, the National Disaster Coordinating Council and the local government units are putting measures in place to prevent the worst effects of the phenomenon.

Defense Secretary and NDCC Chair Norberto Gonzales recently inspected the ongoing repair of water pipes in EDSA by the Metro Manila Waterworks and Sewerage System.

NDCC is also undertaking measures to avert water crisis in the Metro as an effect of a dry spell brought about by El Niņo.

Meanwhile, as the Department of Agriculture expects some 50 provinces to be affected by drought, the Province of Negros Occidental is set to conduct cloud-seeding operation by next week or early next month.

"So far, we are processing the necessary documents to conduct the cloud seeding and we are also getting the technical assistance from the Philippine Air Force," Engr. Albert Barrogo, Agriculturist II of the Provincial Agriculturist Office told PIA.

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan recently approved the P8-million budget for cloud-seeding operation to be conducted in the province for four months which is expected to end on May. The budget came from the 20 percent Provincial Development Fund of the province.

Negros Occidental Governor Isidro Zayco according to Barrugo gave the nod to the operation in preparation for the dry spell which will be caused by El Niņo.

Aside from the cloud seeding operation, the province according to Barrogo is allocating some P25-million for the construction of irrigation facilities and rehabilitation of existing irrigation facilities all over the province.

"We are also working on additional budget from the national government through the Department of Agriculture," Barrogo of the Agricultural Engineering Division added.

These are advance measures the provincial government are doing to mitigate El Niņo.

The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist is also giving technical advises to farmers on planting drought-resistant crops and help farmers organize themselves to form an irrigators' association. (PIA/EAD) [top]

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