SENATOR Aquilino Martin “Koko” D. Pimentel III on Monday urged President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. to discuss the water crisis and looming El Niño in his state of the nation address on July 24.
Past droughts and water crises had caused a significant toll on the economy, business, agriculture, power generation, public health and natural resources, he said in a statement.
The Philippine economy could lose $3.3 billion (P184 billion) due to El Niño, the senator said, citing estimates by Union Bank of the Philippines, Inc.’s chief economist.
Mr. Marcos Jr. should come up with long-term strategies and sustainable solutions to mitigate the effects of water shortage and El Niño, Mr. Pimentel said. “The government should take an anticipatory approach and not merely be passive in addressing these challenges.”
The United Nations World Meteorological Organization declared the emergence of El Niño conditions in the Tropical Pacific for the first time in seven years, with a 90% chance that it will persist until the second half of 2024. — Jan Jiminel Cacdac