News Release

PBBM on track on EL Niño mitigation efforts, braces for La Niña phenomenon

The administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. continues to implement the El Niño mitigation measures as it braces for the effects of the La Niña phenomenon, which is expected to develop by June this year.

“Government agencies will continue to implement the El Niño action plans and of course, later on, transition into preparing for La Niña,” Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Renato Solidum Jr. said in a Palace briefing on Tuesday.

Solidum made the remarks shortly after the sectoral meeting with the President and other government agencies, where they discussed government measures and efforts to address the effects of the El Niño and La Niña phenomena.

He said the El Niño in the tropical Pacific continues to weaken, but the impacts will continue as it transitions to neutral by April to June this year while an increasing probability of La Niña at 62 percent by June to August this year.

Solidum however clarified that historically, pre-developing La Niña is characterized by below normal rainfall, which means the possibility of a slight delay of the onset of rainy season is likely and its effects will combine with the effects of the ongoing El Niño phenomenon.

“Hence, if we look at the impacts of the ongoing El Niño starting October, we have seen some provinces to have dry spell but up to March, we have seen the increasing number of provinces affected by dry spell and drought,” Solidum said.

As of March 24, this year, Solidum said DOST’s record showed that 37 provinces are still experiencing drought conditions, or the “meteorological drought,” 17 experiencing dry spell, and 13 dry conditions.

He also said the rainfall forecast would show that by April this year, there will still be a lot of areas to be affected by way below normal rainfall, or more than 60 percent, and also below normal “and rains will come by March, but there will still be other areas that will still have less rainfall.”

“So, the forecast for the ongoing effects of El Niño would continue for April – we have 48 provinces to be affected by drought; 24 dry spell; but by May it will be 54 provinces to be affected by drought and 10 dry spell,” Solidum said.

“So, almost the same if you combine both the drought and dry spell but the drought-affected provinces will continue to persist based on DOST-PAGASA’s outlook – 25 by June, 23 by July and 10 by August,” he added.

While there are provinces in the country that will be affected by the combined effects of the El Niño and La Niña phenomena, Solidum said the government will continue doing the El Niño operations, but also keeping in mind the preparations for the La Niña phenomenon. *PND*