AN “oratio imperata” on the effects of the El Niño phenomenon in the country will be read in all parishes in the Archdiocese of Cebu.

Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal will soon issue the prayer to guide the faithful in coping with the effects of El Niño, which is causing droughts and water shortage in some parts of Luzon and Mindanao.

Vidal yesterday said the faithful need to be informed of the situation.

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An “oratio imperata” is a special prayer for a special intention, besides the ones prescribed by rituals, that the Pope or the bishop of a diocese may require to be said during Mass.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration has predicted that the El Nino phenomenon hitting the country expected to worsen in the coming months.

The government urged the public to conserve water, around 10 percent, to diminish El Nino’s effect.

Vidal recently met with officials from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and discussed with them about the programs in the parishes on environmental issues.

Environmental advocacy on the part of the Catholic Church is in line with Pope Benedict XVI’s message urging Catholics to “protect peace by protecting creation.”

Nacionalista Party standard bearer Manny Villar, on his part, said that solutions to counter a possible destructive El Niño must depend on strong political will, by putting up quick irrigation for farmers whose crops were affected by the drought.

Villar said that the need for inexpensive irrigation systems can provide a quick and temporary alleviation for farmers who depend on their crops for money and food.

He added that the giving of emergency powers to the President in order to combat the effects of El Nino is not needed, as the weather phenomenon is considered as natural and predictable.