DA interventions ready for looming La Niña

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

June 22, 2024, 6:28 pm

<p><em>(PNA photo by Joan Bondoc)</em></p>

(PNA photo by Joan Bondoc)

MANILA – The Department of Agriculture (DA) is prepared to employ various interventions for the La Niña phenomenon, its spokesperson assured the public on Saturday.

“Ngayon naman ay naghahanda na kami para sa La Niña. Ngayon ay La Niña watch pa lang, hindi pa officially na pumapasok ang La Niña. Inaasahan ito last quarter (We are now preparing for the La Nina. The phenomenon has not yet started but we are on a La Niña watch. It is expected to start in the last quarter of the year),” DA Assistant Secretary Arnel de Mesa said during the Saturday News Forum in Quezon City.

The interventions, he said, include water management and the distribution of flood-tolerant rice varieties.

The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) would also ensure irrigation systems are up and running.

“So, tinitiyak natin through NIA at saka iyong ating mga regional field offices na maayos itong mga irrigation system na ito (NIA, together with our regional offices, is making sure that the irrigation systems are working),” he said.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said there is a 69 percent chance of La Niña developing in the months of July, August and September.

The phenomenon increases the likelihood of having above-normal rainfall conditions in some areas of the country.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., for his part, have assured farmers that the government is preparing to help alleviate the effects of the looming La Niña.

The Department of Energy said its preparations include preventing damage to transmission lines.

Meanwhile, De Mesa said the DA still continues its water impounding projects, which will then store rainfall for use during dry spells.

To date, the Marcos administration has provided over PHP9 billion worth of aid for farmers and fisherfolk affected by the El Niño phenomenon.

De Mesa said the President has turned over more than PHP700 million under the Presidential Assistance to Farmers and Fisherfolks program.

Among the regions visited by the President were Zamboanga Peninsula, Soccsksargen, Northern Mindanao, Bangsamoro, Davao, Bicol, Cagayan Valley and Caraga. (PNA)