By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
ANTIPOLO CITY – Administration senatorial bet Francis Tolentino has called for the implementation of pre-emptive measures in preparation for the impending severe drought which will be brought by the El Niño this year.
In an ambush interview following Hugpong ng Pagbabago’s proclamation rally in Antipolo City, Tolentino said local government units (LGU) can use the recent pronouncement by weather bureau PAGASA over a possible extended dry season for them to declare an early state of calamity in their respective areas.
Tolentino stressed that unlike other major calamities, the government has enough time to lay down measures that can lessen the impact of the upcoming dry spell due to El Niño especially on the agriculture sector.
“Hindi mo na kailangan hintayin na ma-tuyot na ang mais, palay at bumaba ang level ng Angat Dam. Ganito kaaga palang ay magkaroon na ng declaration at kumilos na ang NDRRMC,” said Tolentino.
The former mayor of Tagaytay City explained that the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councol (NDRRMC) as early as now should identify agricultural lands which are expected to be hit by El Niño so that it br given proper attention.
“Ang alam kasi nating calamity ay iyong mayroon immediate impact, iyong may immediate devastation,” said Tolentino.
“Ang alam kasi nating calamity ay iyong calamity na may immediate impact katulad ng bagyo at lindol. Iyong nakikita natin tumba, ganoon. Itong El Niño, matagal ito. Xreeping ito. Dahan-dahan ang epekto,” Tolentino added.
On Tuesday, Tolentino warned that the country may experience another round of inflation spike if the severe drought finally takes place later this month.
The former cabinet official explained that last year’s record-high inflation was brought by supply shortage especially when it comes to local supply of rice.
Tolentino said that having an extended dry season will surely affect the local supply of agricultural goods and other basic necessities.