Zamboanga City, Negros Occidental and Batangas are currently experiencing the effects of the El Niño phenomenon, based on data from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
PAGASA meteorologist Rodel Inclan mentioned that they are examining two weather models that could impact the weather in Zamboanga in the upcoming months. The first scenario suggests the continuation of warm weather until February, while the second model indicates the possibility of drought persisting until May.
Anticipated by the end of May is a neutral weather condition preceding the commencement of the rainy season.
Inclan highlighted that despite the occurrence of rainfall in the city, the recorded volume by PAGASA remains below the usual levels.
Due to diminishing water levels in the Dumalon River, the Zamboanga City Water District is presently enforcing water rationing in the central and western areas of the city.
Meanwhile, some sugar-producing areas in the country also felt the effects of El Niño.
As reported by Bernadette Reyes on Unang Balita on Wednesday, January 24, the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) stated that sugar plantations in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental, and Batangas are among the affected areas.
Due to this, the production of sugar has decreased.
The SRA reported a preliminary estimate indicating a decline in sugar production from the initial target of 1.850 million metric tons to 1.750 million metric tons. This marks a reduction of over 100,000 metric tons.
“Sometimes 20 to 30% or even more decrease… ‘Yung progressive farmers natin sa Negros, everyone has been complaining of a drop. In Batangas, the same thing. So this is all related to weather,” SRA Administrator Pablo Luis Azcona said.
If only there were enough water, sugar cane plants would thrive, the United Sugar Producers Federation of the Philippines (UNIFED) said.
“Ang effect nitong drought will be next crop year. Starting September of this year all the way to 2025, doon natin maramdaman na short na naman tayo,” UNIFED president Manuel Lamata said.