EDITORIAL- Summer is here
(The Freeman) - March 24, 2019 - 12:00am

In case you didn’t know, dry season is officially kicking in. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) officially declared yesterday the start of what Filipinos traditionally call summer.

This year’s arrival of the dry season comes as the northeast monsoon no longer exists. There is now a high-pressure area prevailing over the Northwestern Pacific. Last year, PAGASA announced the beginning of the dry season on April 10.

With the dry season coming earlier this year than in 2018 due to the weak El Niño phenomenon, PAGASA administrator Vicente Malano warned Filipinos of hotter air temperatures in the coming months.

“With this development, the day-to-day weather across the country will gradually become warmer, though isolated thunderstorms are also likely to occur,” Malano was quoted by The Philippine STAR as saying, “the public is advised to take precautionary measures to minimize heat stress and optimize the daily use of water for personal and domestic consumption.”

As we brace for hotter days ahead, the dry season’s effects will be severe because of the prevailing El Niño. Now, how prepared are we against the harsh impact of the dry spell that is expected to linger for months?

In Cebu City, since last month, we already experienced water shortage as the rainfall record dropped, seriously decreasing water level at the Buhisan Dam and Jaclupan Dam. In fact, farmers in upland areas are beginning to complain about their crops wilting due to the lack of water.

Feeling the pinch, many barangays now experience long hours of severe water shortage daily.

Water providers are starting to ration their supply, with the Metropolitan Cebu Water District urging its consumers to conserve.

We don’t know if there are measures readied by the authorities to avoid a calamitous effect of the El Niño. But if there are any, they should have already implemented them to lessen the impact of the dry spell.

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