Jose Carillo's Forum


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Unsolicited advice to fellow Filipinos facing “El Niño” phenomenon

As we in the Philippines are facing the so-called “El Niño” phenomenon, I have an unsolicited advice to my countrymen, particularly to those who are in the agricultural sector (both government and private) and who are members of the team that guides the destiny of our nation. I am an electronics and communication engineer and I am sending this advice from Kuwait where I have been working since 1979.

The solution to the “El Niño” phenomenon (ENSO) is simple. All of us who have been in Kuwait for over 30 years have experienced how the people here face natural calamities. They have a good attitude in facing these calamities in the sense that they confront all of them as challenges and not as problems. Of course we can’t compare our country with Kuwait, which is so blessed with black gold that they can use it to convert saltwater into freshwater. But the truth is that since my arrival in Kuwait in 1979, the rain fall here has only been three times a year on the average. This is a country that has two weather extremes—very cold weather (average of 3 degrees Centigrade) and very hot (reaching up to 50 degrees C).  

In the Philippines, however, we are blessed with too much rainwater each year that water even overflows from our largest dams. It is all common sense that God is giving us wealth—WATER—and it is the kind of wealth that Kuwait doesn’t have at all. So we really don’t need to be engineers with PhDs to face the “El Niño” phenomenon.

The solution is actually so simple:

We must build gigantic water tanks in very large numbers around the strategic areas where agriculture is the industry of the people. During the rainy season, we must find ways to collect this rainwater that’s in abundance. Then we should find ways to collect this water—this precious God-given wealth—into those gigantic water tanks.

With the innovations in technology now available to us, we can use this collected rainwater not only for our agricultural needs but also as potable water. It can be treated with chlorine, passed through a number of filters, boiled, cooled down, and—if the family can afford it—refrigerated so it becomes ready to drink.

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