The state weather bureau on Friday officially declared the start of the rainy season, marked by the rains brought about by Super Typhoon Betty and the southwest monsoon (habagat).
PAGASA added the El Niño phenomenon may begin in the “next couple of months,” and may persist until the first quarter of 2024.
“El Niño increases the likelihood of below-normal rainfall conditions, which could bring negative impacts (such as dry spells and droughts) in some areas of the country. However, enhanced Southwest Monsoon season may also be expected, which may result in above-normal rainfal conditions over the western part of the country,” it added.
As this developed, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said damage to agriculture and infrastructure due to “Betty” was minimal.
“Based on our monitoring and reports we got, the effect of Betty is very minimal in terms of damage to infrastructure and agriculture,” said NDRRMC spokesman Raffy Alejandro in a television interview.
He said close to 77,000 people in six regions were affected by the storm.
Betty left the Philippine area of responsibility on Thursday, but is still enhancing the southwest monsoon.
NDRRMC earlier said at least 10 to 14 tropical cyclones were expected to enter the country from May until October this year.
“We will continue to enhance our preparations by making sure we have enough stockpile of food and non-food items in our strategic warehouses throughout the country,” Alejandro said.