DILG to LGUs: Save water, prepare for El Niño’s fury
MANILA, Philippines — Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. on Wednesday instructed local government units (LGUs) to sustain their preparations for the effects of El Niño from next month until March next year. Last May 2, the state weather bureau raised an El Niño Alert, with an 80 percent probability that it may persist from June until the first quarter of 2024.
In response, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) issued a memorandum circular instructing local chief executives nationwide to cushion the impact of the El Nino phenomenon.
“Conserving water is one of the key actions needed to be taken to mitigate the effects of El Niño, and as public servants, we must set an example. These precautionary steps, albeit small, can make a big difference that can affect our communities,” Abalos said in a statement.
Among the mitigation measures he specified were “urgent enactment of ordinances curbing illegal connections and encouraging prudent water usage; allowing water concessionaires and water utilities to conduct emergency leak repairs; lifting number application coding schemes to address water supply needs of affected customers immediately; implementing and updating of existing contingency plans related to El Niño; and stockpiling of relief goods for immediate relief assistance.”
Under the memorandum, Abalos tasked LGUs to fix water leaks, maximize rainwater usage for harvesting and storage, implement water conservation measures, and coordinate with Department of Agriculture regional offices to conduct cloud seeding operations.
The DILG chief also told the Bureau of Fire Protection to conserve water and limit its use to contain fires.
“These preparatory steps can alleviate the ill effects of the phenomenon in terms of agriculture, water resources, marine resources, human health, and environment, as a whole,” he said.