The Makati City government has created the El Niño and Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Task Force to help mitigate the effects of the weather phenomenon in the city.
“Makati is taking proactive action to mitigate the risks and impacts of extreme weather conditions on our citizens. As early as now, we will implement contingency measures to ensure the continuity of basic services and guarantee enough food and essential supplies for Makatizens,” Mayor Abigail Binay said.
Task Force ENSO comprises key departments in the city government and power and water utility providers who will analyze and assess the city’s readiness and response to the El Niño Southern Oscillation phenomenon and its effects.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said the probability of an El Niño occurrence rose from 55 percent to 80 percent in June, July, August, and September.
Binay said that the Task Force ENSO will be headed by the Makati Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DRRMC) to oversee risk-mitigating strategies and ensure the unhampered delivery of health, food, and sanitation services.
The task force’s mandate is to monitor the ENSO phenomenon and develop measures for the city’s readiness regarding water supply, power outages, food availability, emergency health-care services, and infrastructure protection against flooding and landslides.
Binay also asked power and water concessionaires servicing Makati to develop concrete and implementable contingency measures to ensure power and water supply during this heightened risk.
For its part, Meralco has assured the city of uninterrupted power supply in key government offices, hospitals, and, as much as possible, the financial district.
The power company said they would be implementing rotational brownouts in residential areas and have already coordinated with establishments with backup power generators.
On the other hand, water concessionaires assured Makatizens of continued water supply by ensuring their reservoirs are well supplied and that their water treatment plants will continue to operate without disruption.
Maynilad and Manila Water have tapped deep well reserves to augment supply in case of shortage.
They will activate additional water treatment facilities, explore alternative water sources, and add more water tankers to deliver water to various barangays during scheduled service interruptions.
More importantly, Binay said the task force would implement a multi-sectoral awareness campaign to educate Makatizens on weather advisories and to create a culture of preparedness amidst climate change.
“This is an example of climate situations we should be prepared for. By conserving resources, being mindful of our environmental footprint, and following the advisories and guidelines issued by Task Force ENSO, Makati and its stakeholders can effectively mitigate the effects of El Niño and its threats,” the mayor said. -30-