As summer is slowly coming to a close in the Philippines that brought us one of the driest seasons, Filipinos’ resiliency will be tested by the upcoming La Niña with more powerful storms and longer rainy season.
El Niño swept the Southeast Asia since last year, which affected the southern part of the Philippines. El Niño has caused sizzling temperatures and water shortages that yielded to lower production of crops.
In early April, two farmers were killed in Kidapawan as Mindanao was struck by extreme drought that killed farmers’ harvest. The hungry farmers stormed to Kidipawan municipal hall and demand sacks of rice to mitigate the situation. The police clashed with thousands of farmers that led to casualties.
However, El Niño’s twin La Niña is looming that will bring longer and more powerful storms. Thus, it is of vital importance that countries are well-prepared for extreme weather swings expected to result from climate change. Philippines’ weather will worsen as the country will enter its rainy season in June or July.
There is a need for agricultural infrastructure, irrigation and water storage systems, desalination technologies and insurance coverage for farmers, according to Rajiv Biswas, Asia-Pacific Chief Economist at IHS Global Insight.
Stephen O'Brien, UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and relief, said that the situation is “truly alarming”.