Palace calls on people to conserve water amid treat of ‘extreme’ El Nino

By Jelly F. Musico

MANILA, Sept. 30 (PNA) – Malacanang on Wednesday asked the people, particularly residents of Metro Manila and nearby provinces, to conserve water amid threat of ‘extreme’ El Nino hitting the country in the next six months beginning October this year.

”It is important for all of us to conserve water. Don’t waste water. Let’s help each other because we’re going to face critical weather situation. We need ‘bayanihan’ spirit to hurdle this challenge of El Nino,” Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a Radyo ng Bayan interview.

Last August, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) predicted that the El Nino phenomenon, which is already hitting some provinces, will be among the strongest, if not the strongest to hit the country.

The weather bureau predicted that the full impact of the El Nino will be felt towards the end of the year until April next year.

”It would mean there will be massive drought and shortage of water supply and one of its manifestation is the below normal level of water in Angat Dam,” Coloma said.

He said 80 percent of water supply in Metro Manila came from Angat Dam.

Coloma said the National Water Resources Board has reduced the water allocation for irrigation due to the decreasing water level at Angat Dam.

Recently, the two water concessionaires – Maynilad and Manila Water – announced a 10 to 20-hour water interruption in preparation for the wide effects of El Nino.

”Due to the possible wide effects of El Nino, water interruption is part of the process being implemented to ensure that there will be proper allocation of water and that there will be enough supply of water going towards the summer months,” Coloma said.

Coloma assured that the concerned government agencies are already addressing the effects of the El Nino.

”Government is looking into this matter. We should note, however, that conservation of water is everyone’s concern,” he said. (PNA)