Iloilo City tightens belt vs El Niño

Iloilo City tightens belt vs El Niño
Dave Leprozo Jr./File Photo

TO MITIGATE the potential impacts of El Niño on the community and its residents, the Iloilo City Government, through its concerned departments and offices, has laid down preparedness and mitigation measures, and continues to take proactive steps against the phenomenon.

According to City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) head Donna Magno, as early as late last year, they have been conducting meetings spearheaded by the Iloilo City DRRM Council, and discussed mitigation and preparedness initiatives against the forecasted dry spell starting March and may persist until May 2024.

Citing the importance of information dissemination in the campaign, the Council initiated a program dubbed as "RISE against Drought” anchored on the theme, “Kabuhi luwason, Tubig tipigan, Ilonggo proteksyonan” engaging various sectors.

Image from Iloilo City PIO

For one, the Iloilo City Public Information Office (PIO) took the lead in developing education and information materials and initiated the “Dramas and Diaries,” a series of interviews and projects in support of the said preparedness and mitigation activities.

The City Architect's Office under Architect Regina Gregorio also conducted a related forum with contractors to get their cooperation.

Gregorio noted that come summer season, there is an increase of construction activities that would require a higher demand for water and wherein laborers will be exposed to the blazing heat of the sun.

Thus, as part of their water management initiatives, the contractors will do water impounding measure and will manage how they will use their water in the construction sites.

The contractors will also be adjusting their working hours wherein they will start early and probably take longer noon-break so that their people will not be exposed to too much heat.

Gregorio noted that the city’s rainwater harvesting facility located in La Paz Plaza has been in place already in anticipation of higher demand for water especially during summer season and situations like drought.

The project is being replicated in all other public plazas of the city.

The city is about to start the establishment of more rain water harvesting facility in eight locations identified by CDRRMO.

Meanwhile, according to General Services Office (GSO) head Engr. Neil Ravena, the cistern tank in La Paz was a big help as it has been a source of water for the watering of plants around the city, however, it has already been depleted since last month.

With this, Ravena said the city has to engage with private institution for possible water sources.

Fortunately, the Central Philippine University (CPU) in Jaro offered their support as source of water for the city's 11 tankers daily.

He said they are still looking for more sources for watering of plants in the Garden of Love, the city-owned Caingin Nursery in La Paz, and for other landscapes of the city.

On the other hand, according to Magno, the city’s water providers Metro Pacific Iloilo Water and South Balibago Water Resources are also ready to conduct water rationing if the need for water arises.

Barangays are encouraged to buy their own water tanks, using their respective BDRRM Fund, which can be used as rainwater harvesting facility or as ready containers for rationed water. (PR)

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