PAGASA Modernization Act a big help – Quiblat

November 17, 2015

CEBU, Philippines – The approval of the PAGASA Modernization Act of 2015 is expected to further enhance the weather forecasting capabilities of all its offices, including PAGASA-Cebu, as well as retention of the country’s weather forecasters and observers, who are highly in-demand in other countries.

“With the approval of the modernization act, PAGASA can now acquire state-of-the-art technology so that we can have more weather data and the more date we have, the more accurate is our weather forecast,” said PAGASA-Cebu chief Al Quiblat yesterday.

Quiblat said that although it is not a guarantee that the modernization act will make weather forecasters and observers continue to work in the country, it will help encourage the workers to remain working for PAGASA.

Quiblat explained that PAGASA’s forecasters and observers have been pirated by other countries because they are highly-trained and experienced in weather forecasting, considering that the Philippines has the most number of typhoons every year.

“We are a maritime country and our weather is very complicated. Our weather forecasters and observers are highly trained on this. Mao nga humot kaayo ni sila sa ubang nasud,” Quiblat said.

In a separate statement, Senator Loren Legarda hailed the enactment of Republic Act No. 10692 or the PAGASA Modernization Act of 2015, which effectively funds the enhancement of the state bureau’s capability in providing services to protect the people and the environment and to ensure economic security against natural hazards.

Legarda, principal author of the bill at the Senate, said that more lives would be saved because of RA 10692.

“PAGASA has done a lot for the country with limited funding and they could do much better as the government empowers them with better technology,” said Legarda in a statement.

Legarda, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Climate Change and UN Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for the Asia-Pacific, said that investing in PAGASA will secure the safety and well-being of our people and contribute to national progress.

“As climate change and its detrimental effects progress, I am confident that with better weather forecasting and monitoring, we will be more prepared in dealing with natural hazards, thereby preventing loss of lives and properties,” she said.

The PAGASA Modernization Act mandates the upgrade of physical resources and operational techniques through the acquisition of state-of-the-art instruments, equipment and facilities to improve capabilities in providing timely and reliable forecasting across the country.

It also includes the enhancement of research and development capability; establishment of regional weather service centers and PAGASA Data Center; enhancement of weather data collection and information dissemination services; creation of a human resource development program, particularly new salary scale for PAGASA personnel, and development of collaborative arrangements with relevant regional and international bodies and government institutions to complement the national effort for modernization.

Source: Philstar