Government aims to form El Niño team ‘in 10 days’: DILG

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 29 2023 12:59 PM

People cool off at the Wawa Dam in Rodriguez, RIzal on March 18, 2023 as the summer season nears. Maria Tan, ABS-CBN News
People cool off at the Wawa Dam in Rodriguez, RIzal on March 18, 2023 as the summer season nears. Maria Tan, ABS-CBN News

MANILA —The government seeks to form a team focusing on addressing the El Niño phenomenon “within 10 days,” an official from the interior department said on Saturday.

Allan Tabel, a director at the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said the current El Niño task force previously created must be abolished, as this is currently led by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).

Tabel said President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. ordered them to make the team to avoid the current setup of the task force. NEDA, based on his discussions with other officials, is focused on rehabilitation and post-impact of the weather phenomenon.

“Aralin nila ang strategy kung tama ba, basic naman ang utos ng Presidente. And he suggested team El Niño to be the main,” Tabel said in a chance interview with reporters.

“Ang utos ng Pangulo, gumawa ng team El Niño para makagawa na rin ng estratehiya.” he said.

He said this might be led by the DILG, with the Office of Civil Defense as part of this team, among other agencies.

“Probably, and honestly, we expect within the next 10 days from today na maaprubahan ang abolition ng El Niño task force at creation ng team El Niño,” he said.

Among those proposed to be included in the team include the Department of Agriculture, a set of experts that could be part of their “support group,” noting the weather phenomenon’s impact in the agriculture, energy, marine, and water resources sectors.

“Essentially kung anong agencies yung magha-handle ng [affected areas], sila ‘yung magiging core. Of course Pagasa, sila yung main agency,” he said.

“These are just discussions. But definitely, this is DILG leading the team, co-lead ang Office of Civil Defense.”

Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2001 signed Executive Order No. 16, creating the presidential task force to mitigate the effects of the El Nino and La Nina phenomenon.

In mid-2015, however, former President Benigno S. Aquino III designated NEDA as head of the El Niño Task Force.

PAGASA had said it may issue an El Nino alert by next month, as chances of the weather phenomenon developing continues to increase, based on their monitoring. 


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