BAGUIO CITY, Philippines - The temperature in Baguio City dropped from 10 to 9.8 degrees Celsius on Tuesday.
It is believed to be the lowest temperature recorded in the city since the beginning of the cold season last year.
According to weather bureau PAGASA, the temperature plunge is caused by the northeast monsoon coming from mainland China.
“Ang inaasahan, second week ng January or February ngayong taon bababa ang temperature. Bababa pa [from] 9.7 [Celsius],” said Engineer Danny Galati, PAGASA Baguio official.
The coldest temperature in the nation’s summer capital was recorded at 6.3 degrees Celsius on January 18, 1961.
PAGASA said it is possible that the same temperature will be recorded this year.
Respiratory infections up
While temperature readings continued to drop, the number of people in the city who have fallen ill is rising.
Long lines of patients suffering from colds, cough, and fever have formed at the Baguio General Hospital's out-patient ward.
There are even more patients at the pediatric ward where children with similar illnesses are found.
Of the nearly 200 people who came in for consultation Monday, almost 50 were found to have upper respiratory infection.
Twenty-one children also tested positive for pneumonia.
“Ang mga prone ngayon ay younger age. Ang reason [is] immature pa kasi ang immune system or respiratory system,” said Baguio Health Department official Dr. Donna Tubera.
Doctors said children should bundle up to stay warm. They should also get shots and take lots of Vitamin C.
Pharmacies are beginning to run out of medicines like paracetamol because of the rising number of sick people in Baguio.
“Compared nung previous months, mas dumami ang benta,” said pharmacy worker Linabel Garcia.
Frost destroys Benguet vegetables
In the town of Atok in Benguet, crops that were covered with frost have wilted, causing vegetable prices to go down.
"First class" cabbages that usually sell for about P20 per kilo now sell at P15 per kilo.
“Ang agarang solution diyan ay i-delay ang planting or kung meron silang irrigation, diligan nila ang mga pananim nila para hindi magform ang frost,” said Atok Vice-Mayor Marson Lay-at. - ANC