Upon PBBM’s directive, Teodoro mobilizes preparations ahead of La Niña
Mon | May 13, 2024

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Upon the instructions of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., Defense Secretary Gilberto C. Teodoro Jr. has mobilized all departments and agencies involved in Task Force El Niño (TFEN) to begin preparations ahead of the La Niña phenomenon.

Secretary Teodoro, chairperson of the presidential task force on El Niño response, noted the bulletin from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), which showed that La Niña will develop during the June-July-August season.

The Defense chief also noted PAGASA’s report that the El Niño weather phenomenon was weakening, but hotter and drier conditions will persist.

“As El Niño diminishes in its intensity, we must now start preparing for the arrival of La Niña, which is expected to bring above normal rainfall in the country,” Secretary Teodoro said.

“Let’s work to mitigate and minimize the damage it can cause to lives and properties. Let us do our best, as the task force has always been doing,” the Defense chief added.

PAGASA also announced that the transition to southwest monsoon may happen during May. Southwest monsoon, popularly known as Habagat, causes rains over the western portion of the Philippines from May to September. It added that PAGASA will continue to closely monitor the waning El Niño and the developing La Niña and its effect on the local climate.

Meanwhile, Task Force El Niño spokesman Communications Assistant Secretary Joey Villarama said that despite the weakening of El Niño, the last few weeks of May are still very critical in terms of water, energy and food conservation.

“Even if we are at the tail end of El Niño, before the climate pattern shifts to neutral conditions and eventually La Niña, the lingering effects of El Niño in the remaining days of this month will still have an impact on our limited resources. We continue to enjoin everyone to be wise in using water, electricity and even food until El Niño has been officially terminated and in preparation for La Niña,” Villarama said.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr, on January 19, 2024, signed Executive Order No. 53 to streamline, reactivate, and reconstitute the old El Niño task forces under EO No. 16 (s. 2001) and Memorandum Order No. 38 (s. 2019).

Under EO No. 53, the President instructed the new task force to develop a comprehensive disaster preparedness and rehabilitation plan for El Niño and La Niña to provide “systematic, holistic, and results-driven interventions” to help the public cope and minimize their devastating effects.

Secretary Teodoro is the chairperson of the presidential task force, with Secretary of Science and Technology Renato U. Solidum as co-chairperson.

TFEN members are Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga, Secretary of Agriculture Francis Tiu Laurel Jr., Secretary of Health Teodoro J. Herbosa, and Secretary of National Economic and Development Authority Arsenio M. Balisacan.