PAF all set for cloud seeding

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THE Philippine Air Force (PAF) on Thursday readied its Cessna LC-210 weather aircraft for a cloud seeding operation amid El Niño weather phenomenon, which could be among the strongest in 65 years according to US scientists.

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Col. Enrico Canaya, Air Force spokesperson, said besides the aircraft, PAF weather technicians were also put on standby to assist concerned government agencies in mitigating the effect of the climate phase.

He added that should the private aircraft be used for cloud seeding, weather technicians and other Air Force personnel would be deployed to support them.

“The Bureau of Soils is the one calling the shots if there is a need for cloud seeding operation. So we maintain this capability because in situations like El Nino, we are always ready to help. We always make ourselves available,” Canaya said.

President Benigno Aquino 3rd recently met with his cabinet members to draw up plans on how the country can cope with the weather phenomenon.

The President directed Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan to convene the Food Security Council composed of the Departments of Agriculture, Trade and Industry and Finance, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), National Food Authority, National Irrigation Administration and the Philippine Statistics Authority.

The council will come out with programs on attaining stable food production as well as sustenance of farmers’ incomes.

He also ordered a task force headed by Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson to ensure that there will be no shortage of potable water. Members of the panel are officials of the Local Water Utilities Administration, National Water Resource Board, Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, and the National Irrigation Administration.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, meanwhile, was directed to coordinate with its local councils in preparing and implementing community-based water conservation and other mitigation programs.

At the onset of El Niño in the country in March, state weather bureau Pagasa said the phenomenon could trigger warmer-than-normal temperatures depending on the location and time period that may also affect the track and intensity of tropical cyclones.

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