Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Mario Montejo assures that mechanisms are in place to monitor and project the latest weather patterns in the midst of the current El Niño episode. 

Speaking in a special meeting at DOST-PAGASA Science Garden recently with Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala and Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization Francis Pangilinan, Montejo said that with PAGASA’s highly-modernized tracking and improved forecasting capability, the country now has the means to mitigate the ill effects of the weather phenomenon through better plans, programs, and activities cascading all the way to the farm level.

“Our priority initiatives in disaster risk reduction and management together with climate change adaptation have resulted in the large-scale upgrading of our corresponding infrastructure.  Now the Philippines is better-prepared to deal with the challenges of El Niño and other extreme weather events. Naniniwala kaming maiibsan ng pamahalaan ang epekto nito, na malaking tulong  sa mga magsasaka at maging sa mga mamimili (We believe the government will allay its effects, that it will be a big help to farmers and even to consumers),”Montejo explained.  Through PAGASA, he added, the Department will continue to closely monitor this occurrence and shall issue periodic updates as needed.

In its latest advisory, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services and Administration noted that a weak El Niño condition is still being observed in the tropical Pacific Ocean, with warmer than average sea surface temperatures of at least 0.5°C recorded since October 2014. It added that according to the latest global climate models, the ongoing El Niño condition may likely continue until mid-2015 with the possibility of strengthening toward the end of the year. (S&T News Service)