GOV’T URGED TO DECLARE STATE OF CALAMITY TO PREPARE FOR EL NIÑO
President Rodrigo Duterte endorses the senatorial candidates of the
Partido Demokratiko Pilipino (PDP)-- Dong Mangudadatu, retired Police General Ronald "Bato"dela Rosa, Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go, Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel, and Francis Tolentino-- during the campaign rally in Bangued, Abra. (Photo by Liza Agoot/PNA)
BANGUED, Abra-- Former presidential political adviser Francis Tolentino has asked the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) to declare a state of calamity that will allow it to access calamity funds for activities that will lessen the effect of the El Niño or the dry spell.
"I strongly urge that a state of calamity in the country be declared as early as now so that the calamity funds can start to be utilized for the preparation," Tolentino said during the campaign rally here on Tuesday.
Tolentino was with retired Police General Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa, Dong Mangudadatu, reelectionist senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel and former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go, all senatorial candidates of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino (PDP).
Partymates in the local level from the Cordillera and Ilocos region were also present with no less than President Rodrigo Duterte leading the group.
El Niño is a threat to the farmlands which will eventually affect the food supply of the country, so the country needs to come up with measures this year, Tolentino said.
"Farms have started to dry up and the water level in irrigation facilities have now lowered- affecting farmlands and plantations," he added.
Tolentino said preparation remains to be the solution to any calamity, which the former Metro Manila Development Authority chief is also pushing as a campaign program.
He also said if given the chance to join the Senate, he wants to increase the 5 percent mandatory calamity fund to 15 percent, and allot a large portion for preparedness.
Tolentino added that part of preparation is readying the farms and the farmers to future calamities.
"We have two agricultural failures- encouraging the children to engage in farming and addressing the aging population of farmers. The average age of farmers is 65," Tolentino said.
"Palakasin natin ang agrikultura (Let us boost the country's agriculture)," he said.
Agriculture is one of the priorities of the administration of President Duterte.
Tolentino also asked the people to continue supporting the President in the achievement of the administration's priorities geared toward improving the people's lives.
"Tulungan natin si Pangulong Duterte, tulungan natin ang PDP (Let us help President Duterte, let us help the PDP)," he said. (PNA)