Ilocanos told to prepare against El Niño

LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte, Oct 16 (PIA) – The national government advised residents in the Ilocos provinces to prepare for the effect of El Niño phenomenon forecasted to be felt this quarter of the year.

Director Melchito Castro, head of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Region 1, said that President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino had issued a directive requiring the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) to assist in the close monitoring and the giving of information measures to the local government units (LGUs) to mitigate the effects of El Niño.

An El Niño preparedness plan have also been conceptualized jointly by the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Health (DOH) to anticipate its impact in the countryside.

Initially, several drought resistance varieties of crops are offered by the DA to the farmers for planting during the prolonged dry season.

The Ilocanos were also told to start saving water now to anticipate the possible scarcity of water at the onset of El Niño.

Earlier, farmers from Bacarra, Ilocos Norte sought immediate assistance from the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) for the repair of the water tunnels destroyed by Typhoon Ineng.

Bacarra town’s agriculturist William Ulep said the rehabilitation of the water tunnel in Barangay Salsalamagi, Vintar town will provide sufficient water for irrigation of the local farmer’s growing crops.

Meanwhile, Engineer Mathias Malenab, district engineer of the 2nd Engineering District of Ilocos Norte, confirmed that the three dams destroyed by Typhoon Ineng are now under repair.

These dams include the Solsona dam, the Madongan dam and the Corra dam.
Malenab said the budget being used in the on-going rehabilitation of the three dams came from the Php20-million emergency fund from the national government.
He assured that the dams’ rehabilitation in Ilocos Norte will be finished the soonest possible time. (Freddie G. Lazaro/PIA- 1 Ilocos Norte)