The Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa will issue a directive to other churches to do “Oratio Imperata” or obligatory prayer for rain due to worsening effect of El Niño Phenomenon to agriculture not only in the city but in various municipalities of Palawan.
This after the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has released “oratio imperata” among Catholic churches in the country yesterday.
Bishop Pedro D. Arigo explained that this ‘oratio imperata’ is an order or mandated prayer in times of emergency, calamity or urgent needs.
“Prayer is powerful. It can move mountain ika ‘nga. Kaya in-adopt natin agad,” Arigo said.
He however clarified that although prayer is powerful, we still have to strive to avert its impact to people particularly the livelihood. “Nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa,” he added.
Arigo said that people should stop abusing and exploiting the environment because “if we become unfriendly to nature, she will also become unfriendly to us.”
As of press time, they are preparing the “oratio imperata” to be issued in all churches in Puerto Princesa and Southern Palawan and expected to be recited among Catholics starting Sunday, April 17 before the holy mass ends.
Recent report of the Provincial Agriculture Office around 3, 585 farmers in Palawan who are affected by the drought brought about by the El Niño Phenomenon. This figure will definitely increase once reports from other municipalities are submitted to the Provincial Agriculture Office.
In terms of area, 5, 398 hectares of rice field and other crops in the whole province affected by the drought with an approximate value of P310, 071, 786.90.
Other municipalities affected by El Niño are: Quezon with 882 hectares of rain-fed rice fields, 22 hectares of cornfields and 59 hectares of fruits and vegetable areas; Bataraza with 823 hectares of both irrigated and rain-fed rice fields; Roxas with 609 hectares and; Brooke’s Point with 428 hectares.
Apart from the impact of El Niño to agriculture, the water supply problem in the city is escalating as the Irawan reservoir is already dried up.
The move of the Catholic Church to issue “oratio imperata” is good news to the management of the Puerto Princesa City Water District.
“Sa panahon ngayon, kailangang kailangan natin ng dasal. Hindi lang ako nagpapasalamat sa mga Katoliko, kundi sa lahat ng mga nagdadasal ng ulan,” said Water District General Manager Antonio Jesus R. Romasanta.