El Niño threatens P3 billion worth of crops—DND

DateLine Philippines

As much as P3 billion worth of crops will be lost if mitigating measures are not immediately enforced to offset the effects of El Niño, disaster officials warned Monday.

Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales, chairman of the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC), issued the warning at the start of the 8th meeting of the Regional Consultative Committee on Regional Disaster Management (RCC-8) in Manila.

“We expect a loss of P3 billion in rice, corn and other agricultural products from the effects of the El Niño,” Gonzales said prior to the start of the three-day, Australian-funded meeting in Manila.

“As much as possible we don’t want the rationing of water (supply), but El Niño is always alarming and we don’t know when it will last,” Gonzales said. “So the first step is to stop the wastage of water.”

The defense secretary also mentioned cloud seeding operations were done to mitigate the effects of El Niño but that weather specialists were “having difficulty finding the clouds.”

He added that they hoped the El Niño would not extend to July and that by June, typhoons or storms would come and give fresh supply of water.

The defense secretary said they have been tapping the local government units to help in finding solutions at easing the effects of El Niño, especially in Metro Manila, where 40% of the water supply are lost due to old and busted pipes.

“We have to remedy this and we are asking the help of local government units on this matter,” Gonzales said.

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