Some 79 provinces will be hit by El Niño before 2015 ends, according to Sec. Mario G. Montejo of the Department of Science and Technology.

“The El Niño phenomenon will be at its worst this year, worse (El Niño) since 1997,” Sec. Montejo announced at Ozamiz City during the first step of the Science Nation Tour in Northern Mindanao last Aug 20.

Montejo said that starting September, 12 provinces will begin in to experience dry conditions that are below normal. “By October, dry spell and drought conditions will affect 29 provinces, and by the end of the year, the number will rise to 79,” he said.

Montejo assured though that the government is preparing for this condition. Food security and health are priority concerns in the government’s preparation for the 2015 El Niño, he told.

DOST’s Science Nation Tour (SNT) is a nationwide information campaign that aims to make Filipinos, especially those in the countryside, “feel” science and technology integrated in their daily lives.

SNT Northern Mindanao includes activities such as Regional Development Council meetings that looks into aspects how science and technology (S&T) programs can spur economic development in the region, such as job creation, support to entrepreneurs, and provision of facilities to the industry  and even of early warning tools for disasters, among others.

The Tour in Northern Mindanao also includes “Gabi ng Sining at Siyensya”, a celebration that marries science, arts, and culture. Much applauded features were a mini-fashion show that showcased contemporary clothing and garments using indigenous fibers, and a science rock concert by a rising Manila-based rock group called Bob Band. (Framellia V. Anonas, S&T Media Service)

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