Onset of rainy season likely second week of June —PAGASA

Marje Pelayo   •   May 24, 2019   •   2381

Courtesy : pixabay

MANILA, Philippines – Despite consecutive days of rain, state weather bureau PAGASA said it is not time yet to declare the onset of the rainy season.

PAGASA explained it is expecting the arrival of the southwest monsoon or habagat in the second week of June.

That is the time when PAGASA most likely will declare the official start of the rainy season.

“Itong mga pag-ulan natin sa hapon hanggang sa madaling araw indikasyon naman ito na papalapit na talaga tayo sa tagulan o yung tinatawag na transition period or yung pagitan ng tagaraw at saka tagulan,” PAGASA Weather Specialist Benezon Estareja said.

(These afternoon rain showers up to early dawn are indications that we are nearing the rainy season. We are in what we call the transition period or the season in between dry and rainy seasons.)

In line with this, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has started de-clogging esteros to prevent extreme flooding in major cities in Metro Manila.

Aside from the drainage along East Avenue in Quezon City, the MMDA also checked on drainage along Araneta Avenue which heavily submerges in floodwater every time the San Juan river overflows its banks.

“Kasama iyan sa World Bank Project, iyong construction ng dike diyan tapos construction ng additional pumping stations,” explained MMDA Flood Control and Sewerage Management Office Director Baltazar Melgar.

Baltazar assured that all 62 pumping stations in Metro Manila are set to drain floodwater when heavy rains pour.

The Department of Agriculture (DA), meanwhile, is also preparing programs to assist farmers who will be affected by the rainy season.

“Naka-preposition na ang mga binhi natin (at) ready for release. In fact, ang iba (ay) naka-release na nga ng mga binhi,” Secretary Manny Piñol said.

According to the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), around 200,000 hectares of farmland in the country await cropping season in June which is expected to increase further to 800,000 hectares in the coming months. —(with details from Rey Pelayo) Marje Pelayo

MMDA chairman, hopeful for NCR shift to Alert Level 3

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos said he remains hopeful that the National Capital Region (NCR) will be placed under Alert Level 3.

During a virtual public briefing on Monday (September 27), Abalos said reports show that the reproduction rate and the number of active cases have decreased in the past three or four days.

“I’m always data-driven. Tinitingnan ko three to four days ago, talagang gumanda naman ang reproduction rate, growth rate, even ang active cases. Iyong active cases kung titingnan natin, it was at a high of about 40,000 noong September 15. Ngayon po ay bumaba na tayo ng 29,000, (I was looking at [the data] three to four days ago. The reproduction rate, growth rate, and even the active cases are improving. In the active cases, we can see that it was at a high of about 40,000 last September 15. Now it is down to 29,000)” he said.

Abalos hopes that with the recent data, quarantine classifications in the NCR would ease.

The MMDA chair said that the total bed and ICU utilization rates should also drop to allow a shift in quarantine classification.

The NCR is currently under Alert Level 4 until September 30.

Meanwhile, the official also hopes that the number of fully vaccinated individuals in the NCR would reach 8 million by October 26.

Based on the recent data, 15.7 million individuals have received the COVID-19 vaccine, where around 7.1 million received the second dose.

Around 8.6 million individuals, meanwhile, have received the first dose of the vaccine. AAC

Trough of Typhoon Mindulle affecting Bicol Region, Eastern Visayas

Marje Pelayo   •   September 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) is monitoring the movement of Typhoon Mindulle south of the country.

As of 4:00 AM Monday (September 27), the typhoon remains outside of the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) but is affecting eastern sections of Southern Luzon specifically Bicol Region, and Eastern Visayas.

PAGASA located the center of the typhoon at 1,600 kilometers east of extreme northern Luzon. It is slightly weakening due to its eyewall replacement cycle.

According to PAGASA weather specialist Ariel Rojas, ‘Mindulle’ is forecast to intensify while still in the Philippine Sea.

It is not expected to directly affect the country though it may enter PAR by Tuesday (September 28) and eventually exit on Wednesday (September 29).

Once inside PAR, it will be named ‘Lani’ being the 12th tropical cyclone to enter the country.

Meanwhile, Metro Manila and the rest of the country may experience isolated rains due to the trough of Typhoon Mindulle and localized thunderstorms which may cause possible flash floods and landslides during severe thunderstorms.

Apart from ‘Mindulle, the weather agency said there is no other weather disturbance being monitored at present.

Granular lockdowns effective in curbing COVID-19 transmission — MMDA

Marje Pelayo   •   September 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) sees the implementation of granular lockdowns as effective in addressing COVID-19 transmissions.

According to MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos, since the implementation of granular lockdowns in the National Capital Region (NCR), the number of COVID-19 cases significantly dropped in the nation’s capital.

The official noted that the cooperation of barangay officials contributed a lot as they know more about how to implement the measure in smaller areas to contain COVID-19.

With the implementation of granular lockdowns, the healthy population can still move without risking the larger population.

Based on the data from MMDA, the number of active cases dropped to around 36,000 on September 19 from more than 40,000 last September 15.

Also, the COVID-19 reproduction rate in NCR slowed down from 1.90 on September 15 to 1.03 on September 22.

“This granular lockdown [ay] tamang-tama ng structure ng Pilipinas. Kaya nga I would say na it’s one of the things kung bakit bumaba tayo aside from vaccination. It is this effective use of the granular lockdowns,” said Abalos.

Abalos said that local government units (LGUs) in Metro Manila are aiming at lowering the Alert Level in the region from  4 to 3 after the implementation of the pilot test of the alert system.

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