Gov't allocates funds to curb effects of El Nino
Quezon City (28 November) -- THE GOVERNMENT has allocated funds to deal with the effects of the El Nino weather phenomenon on agriculture, Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya Jr. said on Tuesday.
But Andaya said the passage of the 2007 budget was crucial, saying this contained a proposal for the P7.6-billion outlay to bring water to 17,150 hectares of farmland all over the country.
Of this amount, P7.31 billion has been allocated to the Department of Agriculture while P330 million has been included in the budget of the Department of Agrarian Reform.
The proposed P1.136 trillion budget for next year is being deliberated on at the Senate.
"If the national budget will be signed into law before the end of the year, then we can have a headstart in readying our irrigation systems for the coming dry spell," Andaya said in a statement.
Weather officials had said that in a worst-case scenario, the El Nino phenomenon could last until the first quarter of 2007 and could further bring down the water level in Angat Dam, Metro Manila's main reservoir.
The cutback in water supply from Angat Dam has affected some 1.34 million residents in the west concession area serviced by the Maynilad Water Services Inc. over the last two days. (PIA) [top]