MANILA — Tropical cyclone Chedeng could intensify into a storm over Tuesday night and Wednesday morning and may continue to intensify into a typhoon by tomorrow.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said that despite its intensification, Chedeng is unlikely to directly bring heavy rainfall over any part of the country in the next few days.
Chedeng was monitored 1,150 kilometers east of southeastern Luzon and is almost stationary. It was packing maximum sustained winds of 55 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 70 kph.
PAGASA said that Chedeng may further intensify into a severe tropical storm by tonight and intensify into a typhoon before reaching peak intensity by Friday or over the weekend due to favorable environmental conditions.
Chedeng will remain far from the Philippine landmass as it moves northwestward. It is unlikely that the tropical cyclone wind signals will be hoisted at this time but Chedeng may enhance the southwest monsoon.
The timing and intensity of monsoon rains over parts of the country may still change depending on the movement and intensity of Chedeng and its interactions with other weather systems.
Currently, the southwest monsoon is bringing scattered rainshowers over Palawan. Isolated rainshowers are also expected over Metro Manila and the rest of the country due to the monsoon and localized thunderstorms
Prepare for El Niño
Senior administration lawmakers are calling on the national government to prepare for the incoming extended dry spell or El Niño and its adverse impacts on various sectors like food security.
“Apart from agriculture, water resources, power generation, health and sanitation and other sectors are likely to be impacted by El Niño, and concerned state agencies must prepare to mitigate the impacts of severe weather conditions,” said Deputy Speaker Camille Villar, who filed House Resolution 1024 to look into possible government interventions in the light of the return of El Niño.
House Deputy Speaker Ralph Recto said the Marcos administration should be pro-active and address the threat of El Niño by adopting a whole-of-government approach, if only to ensure food security and spare farmers of the serious problems.
“Scarcity in water leads to scarcity in food. This is not an alarmist statement. It is a fact, because without water, you cannot grow food,” he warned, urging a comprehensive nationwide response to the possible impact of an extended drought.
For his part, Rizal Rep. Fidel Nograles said the national government and LGUs should undertake a massive nationwide tree-planting program to help lessen the impact of the anticipated extended dry spell season.
“Tree planting is an excellent communal activity that has a positive effect, and I hope more local leaders will organize and engage in this activity so that we can restore our country’s greenness,” he proposed. — Delon Porcalla