Issue of June 2, 2019
     
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Benguet
Kalinga
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Kalinga PENRO forms group to mitigate effects of El Niño
by Peter A. Balocnit / PIA

TABUK CITY, Kalinga – A task group chaired by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources was created to work on the reduction of fire incidents and effects of El Niño in the province.

The task group is composed of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office, Bureau of Fire Protection, Office for Agricultural Services, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, Department of Education, Provincial Tourism Office, Office on Health Services, Philippine Information Agency, 503rd Infantry Brigade, Kalinga Police Provincial Office, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Office, and the Provincial Legal Office.

A memorandum of understanding was forged, in which the functions of each member-agency were defined.

During their organizational meeting, DENR presented an action plan of stakeholders of which among the responsibilities of the task group include the integration of disaster risk reduction management (DRRM) initiatives and measures to counter the impacts of El Niño and reduce the incidence of fire.

Aside from effects of El Niño on humans, animals and agriculture, DENR reported heavy damages on special tree plantation projects in Kalinga caused by forest fires during the first quarter of this year.

Around 425 hectares of reforestation projects were burned with total damage cost of P8 million. These plantation projects, implemented since 2011, have full grown trees.

Pagasa, in its advisory, said it will continue to closely monitor the El Niño and areas at risk of dry spell and drought.

The onset of the rainy season is expected on the first half of June for the western portions of the country.

Focus is also given on upscaling the National Greening Program from common tree-planting activities into tree-growing approach by the institutions and individuals to ensure tree survival and ensure the sustainability of thriving communal tree farms through periodic monitoring.

Another is ensuring initiatives and measures for food security, sustaining tourism-based economy and health security as DRRM priority by the local DRRMCs to increase disaster resiliency and adaptation.

Also considered is the intensification for the advocacy as well as information-education-campaigns on the Task Group’s projects.


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