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PIA Press Release

CAR braces for El Nino

by Joseph B Zambrano

Baguio City (23 January) -- Without rain until the end of January the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) will be in the state of dry spell. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) Cordillera Region said this is due of the effect of El Niņo.

Danny Galate, meteorologist of PAGASA-CAR said that they have not recorded rain fall since November last year and most likely no rainfall until the end of the month. We are now experiencing the effect of El Niņo phenomenon, he said.

El Niņo is a Spanish term meaning "the Christ Child" and was originally used by fishermen to refer to the Pacific Ocean warm currents near the coast of Peru and Ecuador that appeared periodically around Christmas time and lasted for a few months. Due to those currents, fish were much less abundant than usual.

At present, it is being used for the large scale warming of the surface waters of the Pacific Ocean which lasts nine to twelve months and dramatically affects the weather worldwide.

Without rain in four to five months continuously we are going to experience what we call drought, which is below-below average rainfall, Galate explained.

Engr. John L. Socalo, Acting Regional Irrigation Manager of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) Cordillera said that they have prepared an El Niņo action plan.

The plan includes the conduct massive information, education campaign about the adverse effects of the El Niņo phenomenon at the Irrigators Association (IA) level ; mobilization of IAs to clean their own canal networks, implement equitable water distribution within their respective areas of coverage and on farm facilities by giving incentives through "food for work scheme".

The NIA is also set for the construction of small water impounding projects, small farm reservoir and rehabilitation of irrigation facilities. The total over all budgetary requirements is Php 160 million

For the dry season crop, our target area to be irrigated by communal irrigation system is 28,505 hectares, while the national irrigation system will irrigate 15,772 hectares, Socalo added.

Department of Agriculture- CAR Regional Executive Director Cesar Rodriguez said that they have also prepared an action plan for the agricultural sector, particularly on Ginintuang Masaganang Ani (GMA) rice, corn; high value commercial crops and livestock.

Construction and rehabilitation of irrigation system, conduct of information and education campaign, vitamins and anti-biotics for the livestock and cloud seeding are included in the plan with a proposed budget of P452,434.92, Rodriguez said. (PIA-CAR) [top]

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