Cebu province was placed under a state of calamity Monday due to the damage done to crops by the dry spell brought about by the El Niño phenomenon.
The declaration, approved by the Cebu Provincial Board, will allow the use of emergency funds to help farmers affected by the dry spell.
A statement issued by the provincial information office said Argao and Dalaguete towns were priority areas for assistance.
The provincial government has allotted about P60 million as Quick Respond Fund this year to address the effects of the El Niño.
Earlier, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office recommended a declaration of a state of calamity, based on its province-wide assessment, which showed that 27 local government units reporting damage to crops and fishing.
The weather bureau on Monday said “dry will become drier and wet will become wetter” as a result of global warming.
In an interview, Analiza Solis, chief of the weather bureau’s Climate Information Monitoring and Prediction, said this would mean more powerful, though fewer typhoons.
Before year 2000, an El Niño phenomenon happened every 10 to 15 years, she said.
“Now, it has shortened to five to 10 years,” she added.
“In 1982, 1983, 1987 and 1998, there were strong El Niño episodes,” Solis said. Other strong episodes occurred in 2010, 2015 and 2016, “or every five to 10 years.”
The more extreme weather conditions would become the “new normal,” she said.
Meanwhile, the weather bureau’s hydrologist, Sheila Schneider, said Bulacan’s Angat Dam, which supplies 97 percent of Metro Manila’s safe and potable water, is “getting lower and lower everyday.”
“Last Sunday, water level dipped by .37 meters,” she told the Manila Standard.
Business groups on Monday signified support to government efforts to solve water disruption in the east zone of Metro Manila within 150 days.
The groups led by the Management Association of the Philippines said they were confident that the interim measures will resolve the shortage to bring immediate relief to consumers.
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