By Niño Luces
LEGAZPI CITY, Albay – Former Presidential Adviser for Political Affairs and now senatorial candidate Francis Tolentino has advised all the local officials in the province of Albay to declare an early state of calamity to mitigate the possible impact of El Nino in the province.
During the campaign sortie of Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) in the province, Tolentino warned the public of the possible impact of the dry season.
“Ang sabi ko po sa Metro Manila, mag-iigib ng tubig sa Pasig, sa Makati, nobody listen. Ngayon po nangyayari yan. Sa Region 5, ang prediction 79 thousand hectares ang tatamaan ng tag-tuyot. Mga sakahan at marami pang iba. Five times or six times as big as Makati,” Tolentino said.
He narrated that some areas in Northern Luzon are now experiencing drought, while in North Cotabato, at least P400 million in damage to agricultural crops has been reported.
“Sa Dagupan, Pangasinan, malapi-lapit na po magkaroon ng fishkill. I was saying this, two months ago, but nobody listen. Kaya nga po napakaganda kasi nandito po yung mga mayors natin, nandito si governor, I am ecouraging you, I am requesting as a Bicolano, to declare an early state of calamity. Mag-declare na po kayo ng early state of calamity dito sa iba’t ibang bayan natin sa Albay, lalo na sa bayan ng Malilipot,” he said.
The HNP campaign sortie in Albay was attended by local officials of the province, and other HNP senatorial candidates Edgardo Angara, Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, JV Ejercito, Jinggoy Estrada, Zajid Mangudadato, Jiggy Manicad, Bong Go, Bong Revilla and Imee Marcos. Pia Cayetano was represented by her sister-in-law Lani Cayetano. The event also was organized by Ako-Bicol Partylist.
Tolentino explained why LGUs should declare early state of calamity.
“Pagdating ng Abril, ang paguusapan po natin ay hindi lang drought. Ang paguusapan natin ay sore-eyes, ang paguusapan natin ay bulutong tubig. Kaka-aprub lang po ni Presidente yung maternity leave nyo, kahit po ma-extend yung maternity leave, pag nagka-bulutong tubig yung nanay, apektado rin po yung bata. Ang pag-uusapan natin sa April, mas malakas na Dengue, ang paguusapan po natin sa April, cholera, kung kaya nga po, hinihimok ko yung ating mga LGUs to declare an early state of calamity,” Tolentino said.
Tolentino as a disaster preparedness advocate also advised the public to conserve water as part of their contribution to making it through the dry season.
In Camarines Sur, Governor Migz Villafuerte said that the Sangguniang Panlalawigan was studying the possible declaration of state of calamity as El Nino continues to threaten the whole province.
He said the declaration of state of calamity has been proposed to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan following the certification from Department of Agriculture (DA) that the entire province was already being severely affected by the drought.
Meanwhile, the provincial government is currently conducting water-rationing in areas experiencing water shortage.
Bracing for impact
The Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (BRTTH) is also preparing for the possible effects of El Nino.
Dr. Rogelio “Butch” Rivera, BRTTH chief of hospital, told the Manila Bulletin that countermeasures have been put in place to prepare for the bulk of patients who may seek help due to illnesses caused by dry season.
“Meron po kami na mga sistema na ginagawa with the Department of Health. Unang una yung mga kaso ng measles, mayroon tayong mga measures na ginagawa para ma prevent po yung pag spread ng sakit. Yung sa dengue naman po, year in, year out yan, may mga protocols naman kami na mga ginagawa para dyan,” he said.
Rivera said in case of overcrowding in number of patients, a possible of putting up a tent will be done to accomodate more patients. #MatalinongBoto2019