MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. ordered government agencies to complete water related projects by April 2024 to prepare for El Niño.
During the inauguration of the Balbalungao Small Reservoir Irrigation Project (BSRIP) in Lupao, Nueva Ecija, Marcos urged the Department of Agriculture and its affiliate, the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), to promptly complete the assigned projects in his Wednesday speech.
“We must be prepared to counter these effects, which may last until the second quarter of 2024. So, we remind once again the DA and the NIA to immediately complete the construction of irrigation facilities, as well as other supporting structures based on the needs of our farmers,” Marcos said.
The President mentioned that he is imposing a four-month timeframe for the completion of all irrigation and related projects. He emphasized the government’s commitment to achieving these tasks by the end of April next year to secure an adequate water supply.
“I’m thinking about the projects that we will do. We have four months to finish all that, make it all operational because of the deadline I made for our departments. I told them, let’s think, what can we finish,” he added.
Marcos stated that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) would continue in aiding those affected by El Niño. Additionally, he stated that the government would initiate programs similar to those implemented during the peak of inflation to address the challenges faced by the victims.
“DSWD is there. We will continue to provide Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS), Tupad [Livelihood Assistance to Our Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers], especially for farmers who have been hit, whose crops were damaged,” he said.
Meanwhile, it was on Monday when the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) warned that at least 65 provinces, or 77 percent of the archipelago, were likely to experience moderate to severe drought conditions from February to May next year due to a “strong” El Niño, which is characterized by a warming of the ocean surface that increases the likelihood of below-normal rainfall conditions, potentially causing prolonged drought in some parts of the country.
Also Read: Marcos declares December 26 as holiday