Bacolod: Province braces for extended El Niño


Bacolod City – Bracing for the effects El Niño, which according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), is likely to start during the second half of the year, the provincial government of Negros Occidental has started to implement mitigating measures to cushion its impact on Negrenses.

Provincial Administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz said that they are continuing working with USAID and its partners, as well as the academe, on reforestation projects to provide adequate water supply for irrigation projects.

Southern Negros, which is usually observed to be hardest hit during the dry season, is also being closely monitored by the provincial government.

Diaz said the local government unit of Cauayan has shown interest to join them in applying for the Special Use Agreement in Protected Areas (SAPA), in order to properly manage the reforestation project, for 25 years.

He added that they have two SAPA applications in northern Negros, to protect existing watershed areas.

PAGASA said that El Niño “will likely develop in July-August-September 2023 season and may persist until 2024.”

PAGASA warned that El Niño increases the likelihood of below-normal rainfall conditions, which could bring dry spells and droughts in some areas of the country.

Diaz also announced that the feasibility study of the proposed construction of a bulk water project by the provincial government is expected to be completed next month, so the local government units subscribed to it can have ample water supply.

The Capitol bulk water project eyes tapping the surface water of two major rivers in the 3rd district of Negros Occidental.

Diaz also reported that the province reforestation projects in areas covered by the Northern Negros Natural Park are in place, and that the survival rate of planted trees is good.

We are always at the mercy of nature, that is why we have to work with nature, he stressed. (Gilbert Bayoran via tvds photo by tvds)

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