Bacolod readies for El Niño effect

Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez holds a meeting with the members of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council at the Bacolod City Government Center on Wednesday, April 3.
Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez holds a meeting with the members of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council at the Bacolod City Government Center on Wednesday, April 3.

The City Government of Bacolod is now preparing for the effect of the El Niño phenomenon in the city, Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez said Wednesday, April 3.

Benitez, who led the meeting with the members of the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DRRMC) meeting on Wednesday, April 3, at the Bacolod City Government Center (BCGC), said they already itemized the steps that they need to do to prevent the effect of the El Niño such as the water shortage, the impact in the educational institution, and the health issues.

He said the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) forecasted that after El Niño, there would be a La Niña.

"So we are also preparing for the La Niña. Pagasa also announced that El Niño is now weakening so we are expecting a low heat index in a couple of weeks," he said.

Due to the extreme heat index forecasted by the Pagasa, Benitez also extended the suspension of face-to-face classes in Pre-School, Elementary, Secondary, and Senior High levels on April 3 and 4.

Benitez said Pagasa released the heat index for two days so the local government unit cannot announce anything until they have an official forecast from Pagasa.

"That is why we released our announcement (the suspension of face-to-face classes) late in the afternoon since they forecasted it by 5 p.m.," he said.

Aside from the impact in the educational institution, Benitez said that they will also push through the water project in the city.

He said they are now itemizing the water tankers to be deployed in various barangays.

He added they also have a proposal to provide potable water in different barangays.

The mayor disclosed that they will continue their plans to utilize the Matab-ang River to augment the water supply of Bacolod City Water District (Baciwa)-PrimeWater.

For his part, Councilor Claudio Puentevella, chairperson of the City Council committee on health, said it's a very good news that the mayor exert its effort to prevent the effect of El Niño.

He said it's the plan of the mayor to provide potable drinking water in various barangays.

"It's a big help to our constituents, especially now that we have a water shortage due to the El Niño phenomenon," he added.*

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