Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) reports that there are 23 provinces in the country which are currently experiencing drought, while 11 provinces are experieng dry spell.
In an interview by Radyo Inquirer, PAGASA Chief of Climate Monitoring and Prediction, Anthony Lucero said that in Mindanao there are 20 provinces affected by drought, while there are 2 in Visayas and 1 in Luzon.
The provinces on the list are the following:
Zamboanga Del Sur
Zamboanga Del Norte
Lanao Del Norte
Lanao Del Sur
Davao Del Norte
Davao Del Sur
Surigao Del Norte
According to Lucero, an area is considered to be experiencing drought if it has been experiencing rainfalls that is way below normal or around 60% reduction of rainfall.
On the other hand, a dry spell is experienced in 11 provinces in the country. The following provinces are currently experiencing a dry spell:
Agusan Del Norte
Agusan Del Sur
According to Lucero, the provices which under a dry spell experiencies 21 to 60 percent reduction of rainfall.
Lucero adds that the the effects of El Niño in areas under a dry spell is not as grave compare to areas hit by a drought.
PAGASA predicts that the number of provinces which will be affected by drought will reach 32 at the end of April, while province hit by drought will increase to 26.
Citibank economists have warned last year about the Philippines’ potential vulnerability to prolonged dry spell that might arise from the possible recurrence of this extreme weather phenomenon.
Citi economists said that monetary policy in the Philippines, India and Indonesia looked “relatively vulnerable” to El Niño, citing inflation sensitivity to food, according to a research note dated June 3, 2015 titled “Will El Niño Derail Monetary Policy?”.
“With the peak rainfall season in the major Asian agricultural regions beginning now, a prolonged dry spell has important implications on agri output, with a lag,” the Citi research said, noting that the last two severe El Niño episodes in 1997-98 and 1982-83 had yielded significant crop damage and a surge in food prices.