CEBU, Philippines - Priests across the province will say the Oracio Imperata in their masses starting today to ask for rain with the advent of the El Niño, said Msgr. Esteban Binghay, Episcopal Vicar for Metro Cebu - South.
The decision was made following the announcement of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration that March will be the hottest month in the El Niño season this year.
Binghay explained the Oracio Imperata is a sacred, obligatory prayer conducted during a mass to ask for rain shower.
The prayer is said while asking forgiveness for being careless and abusive to Mother Earth. The prayer is said before the final blessing is given.
Priests in Manila and Baguio started saying the Oracio Imperata last week when places in Luzon started to experience water shortage owing to the lowering of water in dams.
Binghay said farm areas are the ones mostly affected by the El Niño phenomenon in Cebu like one rice field in Barangay Looc, Talisay City wherein the ground already started to get extremely dry and crack.
“As a steward in his creation, we ask forgiveness for God to hear our prayers,” Binghay said.
Luciano Villamor of PAG-ASA said the El Niño season is expected to last until June. The highest temperature recorded in Cebu, so far, reached 33ºF.
Meanwhile, the municipal government of Borbon is reinforcing its current water supply and distribution of water to mountain barangays by developing its water source.
Borbon Mayor Bernard Sepulveda said supplying water to all barangays is one of his priority projects, but there is a need to fast track its implementation owing to the threat of the El Niño phenomenon.
Sepulveda said Borbon had a good source of water and it is reportedly not good to hear that the people are dependent on water wells.
“Basta panahon na sa ting init, maglisod na gyud ang mga molupyo diha sa barangay sa ilang pagkuha og tubig mao nga gihatagan gayud kini sa pagtagad,” Sepulveda said. — Antoniette T. Parce and Jose P. Sollano/JMO (THE FREEMAN)