CEBU CITY, Philippines– The Cebu City Council has finally declared the upland and other lowland barangays in the city under a state of calamity.

Residents in these villages are now experiencing water shortage because of the mild El Niño being felt by those areas.

The City Council’s declaration of a state of calamity was based on the recommendation of the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CCDRRMC).

The CCDRRMC said this allows the city to utilize a portion of its disaster fund to address water shortage in the affected barangays.

Cebu City Councilor Gerardo Carillo moved for its approval, but he also requested the CCDRRMC to submit within one week an action plan and utilization report.

He said CCDRRMC should map out an action plan to further mitigate the ill effects of the mild El Niño more acutely felt by the mountain barangays especially that the weather phenomenon was forecast to last until the end of the year.

Earlier, Cebu City slammed the City Council for not acting on CCDRRMC’s recommendation after holding executive sessions last May 4 and 6 on the problem.

Rama had said that if the City Council would not declare a state of calamity, he would do it himself after the city councilors hesitated.

As early as April 24, the CCDRRMC already recommended to the City Council the declaration of a state of calamity after learning that 31 mountain barangays are already suffering from water shortage due to the hot weather. PNA