Press Release
January 29, 2010


Senator Edgardo J. Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology and COMSTE, called on concerned agencies to immediately adopt mitigating measures to cushion the ill-effects of El Niño phenomenon.

To further illustrate the urgency of the matter, Angara noted that Ifugao Province has already been experiencing the negative effects of the dry spell. "According to reports, Ifugao is already under drought condition as rivers, streams, springs and irrigation systems in the region were drying up".

He added, "If this phenomenon will continue without any strong policies in place, our rice farmers will likely to suffer because of its possible adverse effects on the country's rice production."

Angara, former Agriculture Secretary, also stressed the need to prioritize investments in irrigation to include rehabilitation of irrigation facilities, construction of new irrigation systems and provision of small farm reservoirs to prevent and mitigate the suffering and losses of rice farmers.

The Department of Agriculture has warned that the prolonged drought would drastically cut down the production of crops such as rice, corn, sugar cane, vegetables and other agricultural products.

Authorities say three provinces in the central region have already started to feel the effects of El Niño in the form of below normal rainfall. The provinces of Capiz, Aklan and Guimaras in the central Philippines have had below normal rainfall since August and have already started experiencing drought.

Meanwhile, according to PAGASA, El Niño is expected to strengthen and last through the first quarter of 2010. Other areas that are hit by this weather phenomenon include Aklan, Guimaras, Benguet, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Batangas, Aurora, Quezon, Marinduque, Mindoro, Romblon, Sorsogon, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Northern Samar, Biliran, Davao del Sur, South Cotabato, Sarangani and Sultan Kudarat.

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