Makati City has formed a team as part of the government’s contingency measures in preparation for a looming water crisis and the El Niño phenomenon.
Mayor Abigail Binay said the team she created, dubbed “El Niño and Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Task Force” will work to mitigate the effects of the weather phenomenon in the city.
She said Task Force ENSO comprises key departments in the city government and power and water utility providers who will analyze and assess the city’s readiness and response to the El Niño Southern Oscillation phenomenon and its effects.
Quezon City’s Bureau of Fire Protection in Quezon City, meanwhile is also bracing for El Niño which could trigger more fire incidents. The BFP data showed over 100 Filipinos die in home fires every year, while thousands more suffer from the loss of houses and valuables, and hundreds are injured by fire.
S/Supt. Aristotle Bañaga, the city’s fire marshal, said he has been closely coordinating with the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, along with its two water concessionaires — the Maynilad Water Services Inc. and Manila Water Co. — to ensure that
there is enough water supply in every fire hydrant in the city.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the probability of an El Niño occurrence rose from 55 percent to 80 percent in June, July, August, and September.
In Makati, Binay said the task force will be headed by the Makati Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DRRMC) to oversee risk-mitigating strategies and ensure the unhampered delivery of health, food, and sanitation services.
The team will monitor the ENSO phenomenon and develop measures for the city’s readiness regarding water supply, power outages, food availability, emergency healthcare services, and infrastructure protection against flooding and landslides.
The Manila Electric Co. has assured the city of uninterrupted power supply in key government offices, hospitals, and, as much as possible, the financial district. Maynilad and Manila Water also gave assurances of adequate water supply for the city.
Binay also said the Task Force would implement a multi-sectoral awareness campaign to educate her constituents on weather advisories and to create a culture of preparedness amidst climate change.