Bohol First District Representative Rene L. Relampagos has urged the public to brace for the El NiÃ±o phenomenon, which is expected to intensify in the last quarter of the year up to May 2016, through effective policies and climate-resilient programs.
According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA)Climatology and Agrometeorology Division, the El NiÃ±o phenomenon could be stronger and worse than what the country experienced in 1997 to 1998.
This month, PAGASA said, the provinces of Aurora , Quezon, Camarines Norte, and Bohol are expected to be under drought condition.
With this, Relampagos encouraged local government units (LGUs) to put up rainwater harvesting facilities in all barangays as part of the countryâ€™s water conservation program. Such system would help address the countryâ€™s water shortage problem, particularly during the dry season, while making use of the excess water from rainfall.
â€œWe are already experiencing hot temperatures, but rain showers occur every now and then. A rainwater catchment system which includes the construction of water wells, rainwater collectors and rehabilitation of existing water walls in all barangays can help address the problem,â€ he stressed.
Relampagos added that catchment systems can be built using low-cost local materials. However, he said, while the system is not yet in place, we can use drums and other big containers to store rainwater rather than allowing it to run off.
In a report, the DA said the drought, induced by the so-called El NiÃ±o phenomenon, has caused damage comparable to a strong typhoon. Weather forecasters warn the worst is yet to come. The El NiÃ±o, a phenomenon characterized by the unusual warming of ocean surfaces that is associated with drought and other extreme weather conditions, is expected to peak late this month and will last up to the first quarter of next year.
â€œCoupled with the climate change, we can only expect the coming el nino to be worse. But information and preparation is key. This issue affects all of us and every effort, big and small, necessarily counts. Let us all be wise in using our water resources,â€ the solon reminded.