BROADCAST journalist Jiggy Manicad is urging the government to take some radical steps now that the El Niño phenomenon is wreaking havoc on the country’s water supply, particularly for the agricultural sector.
Manicad, who is seeking a Senate seat in the upcoming midterm elections, warned that the farming sector would lose billions of pesos if immediate measures are not taken to mitigate the effects of the dry spell.
“We are an agricultural nation. We depend on agriculture for food but the looming water crisis is taking its toll on our farms and livestock,” Manicad says.
Citing records from the Philippine Statistics Authority, the multi-awarded journalist noted that only about 57 percent of irrigable land or 1.73 million hectares are irrigated.
This means that the rest of the country’s farmlands depend on rain.
“Where our irrigation system gets water -- the dams -- are getting dry. This could mean a crisis if we don’t mitigate the effects of the El Niño,” Manicad says.
Manicad also urged city residents, particularly those living in Metro Manila, to conserve water amid the ongoing water supply problem in the region.
“Kailangan na talaga nating magtipid sa paggamit ng tubig. Simula pa lang ito ng mga water service interruptions kaya, maliban sa pag-ipon ng tubig, kailangan din nating gumamit ng mga appliances at kagamitan na mas konting tubig ang ginagamit,” Manicad urged.
“’Wag din nating kalimutan na ang tubig na tinitipid ng tao ay mapapakinabangan ng mga palay, gulay at iba pang pananim,” he says.
Metro Manila gets its water from, Angat, Ipo and La Mesa Dams.