The Marcos administration is working double time to significantly reduce the risks and negative impact of the El Niño phenomenon, the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said. ![mike-erskine-GKFsewk-hz0-unsplash.jpg]( ###### *File photo*

The PCO, citing a three-page report submitted by the Department of National Defense to the President, said that the government had reconstituted an "El Niño team" led by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) with other member agencies. The team is tasked to implement measures to mitigate the impact of El Niño on the country's economy, natural resources, environment, climate change, disaster response, and peace and order. In his report, Defense Senior Undersecretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said the reconstituted team is in response to President Marcos' directive to implement a "Whole-Of-Government" and a "Whole-Of-Nation" approach to prepare for the possible impact of the extensive dry spell. He added that the reconstituted team aligns with the President's order to revive the existing protocols and Task Force for El Niño as he emphasized that the current Expanded Roadmap for Addressing the Impact of El Niño (E-RAIN) will also be updated and enhanced. Galvez suggested that Marcos issued a resolution indicating the adoption of the existing E-RAIN framework and, if needed, create a technical working group. "The monitoring of resources, the recommendations of the concerned agencies, and the strategies employed by the previous administrations shall be taken as inputs to enhance the E-RAIN framework," his report read. Galvez emphasized that the reconstituted El Niño team has agreed to update and improve the E-RAIN, specifically the areas of concern such as food security, water security, energy security, health, and public safety. He added that they have agreed to continue the existing structure of the El Niño Task Force. The local officials will work closely with other offices and gather the necessary data to be consolidated by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) while private sectors and other organizations must be involved in adopting a "Whole-of-Nation" approach. As part of the government's efforts to address the possible impact of El Niño, Galvez said he would visit Cagayan Valley to personally assess the situation in the region, being one of the most likely affected by the dry spell.

Source: Manila Bulletin (