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Valencia City Prepares for El Niño

The City Government of Valencia through the City Agriculture Office headed by Acting City Agriculturist Ms. Connie L. Dalangan, conducted a consultative meeting and strategic planning to impend the impacts of the strong El Niño phenomenon and set preparations for early actions on February 2, 2016 at CAP building, Valencia City.

The activity was attended by City Mayor Hon. Azucena P. Huervas, City Councilor Hon. Camilo E. Pepito, officials from the different barangays, personnel from the City and Provincial Agriculture Office, Valencia City Water District (VCWD), First Bukidnon Electric Cooperative (FIBECO), National Irrigation Administration-Bukidnon Irrigation Management Office and City Environment and Natural Resources (CENRO).

The said offices and agencies also gave a presentation of the El Niño effect and mitigating measures.

Engr. Leo Marconi Carillo, General Manager of FIBECO said that the El Niño phenomenon can affect the distribution of electricity among households as the main source of energy in Mindanao comes from hydro-electric power. According to him, the intense heat from the El Niño can affect the water level of rivers where sources of hydro power comes from.

Carillo assured that FIBECO will continue to provide sufficient energy supply to its consumers. He also clarified that the previous blackout experienced in the city are due to some repairs in some electric lines.

Ms. Celina V. Abodiles, Division Manager of VCWD, reported that there is enough supply of drinking water for the city. She even explained that the common causes of water shortage in the city includes leakages of pipe lines, expansion of areas or increase of connections, uneven distribution of water due to location, and reduction of water supplies coming from spring sources.

Abodiles added that they are planning to produce more pumping stations to boost the amount of water supply. She also encouraged the people to take care of the environment especially that the main sources of water in the city come from springs.

"To sustain the water from our springs we need to take care of our environment through planting and growing trees," Abodiles said.

On the other hand Engr. Fernando Ronquillo, Chief, Operation and Maintenance of NIA-BIMO showed that the strong El Niño greatly affects the water levels in most dams, rivers and canals in the city. According to him the water level is decreasing and it affects the distribution of water used for irrigation.

The said agency also assured to repair and rehabilitate its water structures to equally distribute water to the different rice field and farm lands in lowland barangays.

Hon. Camilo E. Pepito advised NIA to work hand in hand to supply water for the farmers in the city and that repairing the irrigation system would also help solve the problem on the decrease of water supply. He added that supporting the farmers is important as they serve as the backbone of the nation.

Furthermore, City Mayor Hon. Azucena P. Huervas also expressed her concern to the effects of El Niño in the city. "We call for this meeting for us to be prepared and address the concerns of our people," Huervas said.

The honorable mayor encouraged the participants to continue support the works and projects of the local government and of the different agencies. She also encouraged the participants to conserve water and protect our natural resources.

Meanwhile, an open forum was also conducted to know the situation and concern of the public and at the same time address their problems.

The forum also paved way to get some suggestions from the participants to solve the problems particularly on the agricultural aspects.

It was proposed that an ordinance or resolution should be passed to introduce the synchronous planting system with 5 croppings in two years to the farmers of Valencia City. The august body noted the suggestion and will conduct further study about it.

On the other hand, Acting City AgriculturistMs. Connie L. Dalangan encouraged each barangays to work hand in hand to fully serve the farmers particularly those who are affected from drought.

The activity was also attended by Engr. Aguinaldo Y. Cruz, Head of NIA-BIMO, Ms. Lilith Duran of Provincial Agriculture Office and For. Julius Parian of CENRO.