THE rain that wet a good part of Metro Cebu the other day was followed by heat from an unhindered sun yesterday.

The rain was therefore akin to the final gasp of a dying season.

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But Cebu has been fortunate that the rainy season tarried a bit longer in the province, sparing us of the anxieties now gripping other provinces.

In areas of the country where the El Niño crept into the scene early, farms have dried up, destroying agricultural produce that turned brown before they could be

harvested.

Water levels in dams where hydro-electric power are sourced have gone down, sparking worries about the stability of power supply in the coming months.

The situation has also imperiled the ability of the major water firms to supply water to their concessionaires.

Assessment

Cebu has yet to experience such a duration and level of intensity of the dry spell and its effects.

But things may soon change if the other day’s rain finally ushered the El Niño into the province.

That’s why local government officials, most of whom are focused on their preparation for the May election, should give the problem a serious look.

While Cebu is not a major producer of agricultural produce, a big chunk of its population is in the rural areas, where the effect of the prolonged dry spell will be more damaging.

Cebu City won’t be spared by this because its jurisdiction includes a large swathe of hinterland areas.

Both City Hall and the Provincial Capitol, whose officials are currently engaged in a bitter verbal exchange, should therefore start assessing this early the possible impact of the dry spell and map out plans of action.

These LGU’s need to work closely with concerned national government agencies, like the Department of Agriculture.

So far, what we are hearing from officials like Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña are statements that are political in nature and promises of projects designed to woo votes.

Challenge

But the threat of El Niño is real and there is no predicting how long the dry spell will last and how devastating its effect will be.

How the incumbents, especially those running for reelection or angling for another elective port, will deal with the problem will determine if voting for them in May will be the right thing to do.