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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Marcos reactivates Task Force El Niño

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President Marcos has issued an order to reactivate and reconstitute Task Force El Niño to ensure food, water, and energy supply as the country braced for the possible effect of the dry spell.

Issued on Jan. 19 and then released to the public on Monday, under the signature of Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, Executive Order No. 53 reactivates Task Force El Niño under the Office of the President.

The Secretary of the Department of National Defense, Gilbert Teodoro, will serve as the chair, with the Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology, Renato Solidum, as the co-chair.

Among its members are the Secretaries of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Health (DOH), and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). Administrative and technical support will be provided by the Office of Civil Defense to assist the Task Force in carrying out its functions.

The Task Force is mandated to review and update the Strategic El Niño National Action Plan, oversee the implementation of short and long-term solutions and programs outlined in the plan, and collaborate with relevant agencies to expedite the completion of ongoing water infrastructure projects by the end of April 2024, aiming to mitigate the impacts of the dry spell.

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Additionally, the Task Force is tasked with coordinating with the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) to conduct an extensive information campaign on the El Niño phenomenon. 

A monthly report on the Order’s implementation will be submitted to the President through the Office of the Executive Secretary.

Last year, Teodoro revealed the government’s plan to reactivate the said task force to mitigate the impact of El Niño which was expected to last until this year’s second quarter.

A comprehensive National Action Plan Framework was created back in 2023 to fortify communities against the impacts of El Niño, concentrating on water supply, agriculture, electricity, health, and public safety.

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