Council prepares for dry spell

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Thursday, May 15, 2014


WITH the long drought expected to hit the country starting next month, the Cebu City Government declared the whole city under a state of preparedness yesterday to equip vulnerable barangays against El Niño’s effects.

The declaration will also allow the City to dip into its P225-million calamity fund this year for preemptive measures.

Councilors Mary Ann de Los Santos, Dave Tumulak, Hanz Abella, James Cuenco and Gerardo Carillo sponsored the resolution declaring the state of preparedness.

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They said that the City should prepare since the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pag-asa) already issued an advisory that El Niño is expected to be felt in June, peak during the last quarter of this year and may last up to the first quarter of 2015.

“Right now, we are already experiencing hot temperature during the day, between 26 and 34 degrees (Celsius),” read the resolution carried by the council.

All departments were directed to present their action plans and other preparations to minimize the effects of the weather phenomenon.

Even before the declaration of the state of preparedness, the City Agriculture Office and the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries (DVMF) are already preparing for the effects of El Niño.

The two offices have requested the City for a P5.28-million fund to help the farmers prepare for the dry season.

City Agriculturist Joelito Baclayon said the amount will be divided among the 31 mountain barangays in the city.

It will be used to support the irrigation system and buy hoses, water tanks, heat-tolerant plants and fertilizers that will be distributed to the farmers.

Expected effects of the dry spell include a low agricultural production, scarcity of food supply and high mortality rate of livestock and farm animals.

The council is also expecting water supply in the city to be affected as the water level in dams continues to drop.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 15, 2014.

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