Climaco assures city’s support for El Niño mitigating measures

Mayor Beng Climaco has assured the Zamboanga City Water District (ZCWD) of the city government’s support for the mitigating measures that the agency had prepared against the looming dry spell brought about by the El Niño weather phenomenon.

While the city government has its disaster funds on standby, Climaco stressed it would still be the ZCWD that will take the lead in as far as mitigating the effects of the dry spell.

“Ours is more on coordinative efforts through the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO),” the mayor said during a meeting Monday afternoon with the management and Board of Directors of the ZCWD headed by Genaral Manager Chito Vasques and Chairman Jose Vicente Atilano III.

The mayor has instructed CDRRMO head Dr. Elmeir Apolinario to represent the city government in the technical working group of the Task Force El Niño created last week by the water utility firm.

She also tasked City Planning and Development Coordinator Engr. Rodrigo Sicat to assist the ZCWD in establishing contacts on her behalf with national agencies concerned necessary for implementation of various waterworks projects.

This, as the water level at the Pasonanca dam continued to recede below its normal level of 74.20. The dam level as of yesterday was 74.04, prompting the ZCWD to already issue a water rationing schedule to take effect on Friday, Jan. 25.

It was emphasized during the meeting that all preparations for the upcoming dry spell were lessons learned from the El Niño that struck the city in 2016.

One of the immediate concerns that the chief executive was supportive of is the conduct of a cloud seeding over the city’s rainforest or watershed, pending an official declaration of the onset of El Niño by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Administration or PAG-ASA.

On Monday, local the PAG-ASA described the city’s prevailing weather systems as below normal that could be a prelude to El Niño.

As this developed, the chief executive sounded an appeal to all residents in the city to conserve water. “We appeal for everybody’s help and cooperative during this time when our resiliency is once again tested by a dry spell.”-(Vic Larato)