“Teodoro Prepares for La Niña: Mobilizing Resources and Developing a Comprehensive Plan”

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Defense Secretary Mobilizes Task Force for La Niña Preparations

Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. has taken action to prepare for the upcoming La Niña phenomenon by mobilizing all departments and agencies under Task Force El Niño. In a statement, Teodoro, who serves as the chairman of the Presidential Task Force on El Niño Response, highlighted the bulletin from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) stating that La Niña is expected to develop between June and August.

PAGASA also reported that while El Niño is weakening, hotter and drier conditions will persist. Recognizing this, Teodoro emphasized the need to start preparing for the arrival of La Niña, which is projected to bring above-normal rainfall to the country. He called for efforts to mitigate and minimize the potential damage to lives and properties, urging the task force to continue their dedicated work.

Importance of Preparations Despite Weakening El Niño

Task Force El Niño (TFEN) spokesman Joey Villarama emphasized the critical nature of the last few weeks of May in terms of water, energy, and food conservation. Despite the weakening of El Niño, the lingering effects during this period can still impact the country’s limited resources. Villarama stressed the need to remain vigilant and continue conservation efforts until the climate pattern shifts to neutral conditions and eventually transitions to La Niña.

Executive Order 53: Strengthening the Task Force

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signed Executive Order (EO) 53 on January 19, 2024, to streamline, reactivate, and reconstitute the old El Niño task forces established under EO 16 (s. 2001) and Memorandum Order 38 (s. 2019). The new task force, under the guidance of Teodoro and co-chaired by Secretary of Science and Technology Renato Solidum, has been instructed to develop a comprehensive disaster preparedness and rehabilitation plan for both El Niño and La Niña.

The aim of EO 53 is to provide systematic, holistic, and results-driven interventions to help the public cope with and minimize the devastating effects of these climate phenomena. The task force consists of various members, including Environment Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Lozaga, Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr., Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa, and National Economic and Development Authority Chief Arsenio Balisacan.

Overall, the mobilization of all departments and agencies under Task Force El Niño demonstrates the government’s proactive approach to addressing the potential impacts of La Niña. By preparing in advance and implementing comprehensive plans, the aim is to mitigate the damage that could be caused to lives and properties. The continued efforts to conserve resources during the remaining weeks of El Niño are crucial in ensuring the country is well-prepared for the transition to La Niña. With a dedicated task force in place, the government is taking steps to provide effective interventions and support to the public during these challenging times.

Source: The Manila Times

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