TAGBILARAN CITY, September 21 (PIA)— National Irrigation Administration 7 (NIA-7) is not taking any chances against the reported onslaught of the extremely long dry season associated with the El Nino, and instead of being a cry baby, it embraces the only logical way to be climate resilient: preparation.
With the El Nino forecasts, NIA 7 Regional Manager Mario H. Sande steps into the dare and takes the initiative to call for an immediate forum with the Irrigators’ Associations (IA) via the El Niño Mitigation Planning Workshop on September 15, 2016 at Farmers’ Hall, NIA-Malinao Irrigation System in Pilar town.
Summoning key IA officers within the Bohol Integrated Irrigation System (BIIS), Local Government Unit (LGU) representatives, NIA and the state weather bureau: Philippine Atmospheric Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA 7) decided to make information available to IAs so they could act properly in accordance with the threat.
“We take the advantage of the opportunity that NIA has a close contact with the IAs and the capability of mobilizing the farmers” he said, during the forum.
“Our partnership with the IAs and farmers is not only during good times but more importantly during situations wherein our action is vital”, he added.
The activity includes El Niño information dissemination and the projected weather forecast for the next months from PAGASA as well as formulation of mitigation measures for the upcoming cropping season.
In his presentation, PAGASA 7 OIC-Director Oscar C. Tabada provided the necessary information on the current situation and progress of the El Niño phenomenon including a 6 month rainfall forecast.
“This is very important because this will help you decide in planning for the next cropping season” Sande said.
In a statement, he added that participation of LGUs and the Provincial Government as well as the line agencies is crucial in preparation and planning for the necessary action throughout the course of this situation.
During the workshop, NIA and IAs was able to come-up with a preliminary program for the next cropping season which will start somewhere in October.
Since the present water volume of the reservoirs is capable only to irrigate 1,210 hectares of its programmed area throughout BIIS, adopting diversified crops instead of rice will prevent idling areas which will not be irrigated, the forum ruled.
“We should not wait for the worse to come before stepping in, earlier planning is the key for a better result”, RM Sande added.
This too as heavy rainfall poured in the province for the past couple of days. PAGASA however warned that this should not confuse the public and must not discount the looming El Niño.
“The rainy weather this week is caused by Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) which is affecting the Visayas region, Sande said.
Until then, only below average rainfall is expected in the most part of the country including Bohol, PAG-ASA said.
Meanwhile, over the information, PAGASA and all other International Prediction Centers are certain about their data on the incoming El Niño experienced by the country will eventually intensify and its effects will likely be noticeable by October.
This will continue through the second quarter of next year at most. About 79 provinces will be affected throughout this extended dry season and it is expected that Bohol is one of the provinces to suffer the most, according to reports.
Considering the current situation in the Bohol Integrated Irrigation System (BIIS) where water level of the major dams which rely chiefly on the amount of rainfall to replenish its reservoirs.
The impending threat of El Nino will cause a major drawback on the rice farming activity within the province for the next cropping period but despite that, NIA 7 is still optimistic that those numbers will still increase comes the next cropping season.
By taking advantage of the occasional rainfalls and exercising proper water management as well as the intervention of other concerned agencies, easing the impact of El Niño is at hand, Sande said. (rac/PIA-7Bohol/Tony Alonzo)