Mindanao execs told: Brace for La Niña

Mindanao execs told: Brace for La Niña

Mindanao execs told: Brace for La Niña

ASSISTANCE President Marcos on Thursday leads the distribution of assistance to farmers and fishermen in Zamboanga Peninsula region whose livelihood were disrupted by the impact of
El Niño. During the event at Universidad de Zamboanga in Zamboanga City, the President also asked Mindanao officials to prepare for heavy rains and flooding when La Niña hits.

ZAMBOANGA CITY—Amid the long dry spell caused by the El Niño phenomenon, President Marcos on Thursday told local officials in Mindanao to brace for the onset of another extreme weather event, La Niña.

“The world is facing a great challenge due to climate change. We are experiencing extreme weather. Today, we endure intense heat, but in the coming months, expect heavy rainfall,” the President, speaking in Filipino, told some 10,000 people who gathered at the Universidad de Zamboanga gymnasium, where he led the distribution of aid to farmers and fishers whose livelihood was disrupted by the drought and dry spell.


“This is why I’m calling on the local governments of Zamboanga and its nearby areas in the region: Be prepared at all times. Seek out our constituents and learn about their needs. Implement programs that will truly help our countrymen,” he added.


La Niña often follows El Niño, a phenomenon that the state weather bureau expects to wind down by June and give way to the rainy season.

The President assured his audience that the national government was prepared to face La Niña, as he urged local governments to heighten their readiness.

Mr. Marcos handed out at least P60 million in aid to drought-hit families in the Zamboanga Peninsula region and called on local government officials to seek out those needing help and make sure government aid to ease the impact of El Niño would reach them.

Each beneficiary, according to Department of Social Welfare and Development regional spokesperson Ivan Eric Salvador, will receive P10,000.


Mr. Marcos assured the people of Mindanao that the national government would be ready to extend its help to local government officials seeking government assistance for the damage wrought by El Niño on people’s livelihoods. “We are also calling on all those affected by the severe drought to get in touch with their local governments to make known their needs and their problems acted upon,” he said.

Two of Zamboanga Peninsula’s 67 towns and one of five cities have been placed under a state of calamity due to losses incurred as a result of El Niño. Official data showed that a total of 66,878 families, or 334,391 people in 165 barangays, were affected as of May 7.


Throughout the region, at least 3,000 hectares of farms were wilted by the extreme heat. Nationwide, the President noted that 3.6 million people were gravely affected by the drought that destroyed close to P6-billion worth of crops, mostly rice and corn, and aquaculture products.

Zamboanga Sibugay Gov. Ann Hofer said her province was severely affected by the drought, especially since only 40 percent of farms enjoy irrigation service.

“This assistance coming from the President is a big help,” she said, adding that this would complement the P20,000 given as aid to rice farmers by the provincial government.

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Aside from the cash assistance given directly to farmers and fishermen, Mr. Marcos released checks to the local governments of Zamboanga City worth P10 million; Zamboanga Sibugay, P20.3 million; Zamboanga del Sur, P14.35 million; and Zamboanga del Norte, P14.26 million.

TAGS: La Niña, Mindanao

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