Press Release
November 18, 2009


Opposition Senator Chiz Escudero is ringing the alarm bells on the government's announcement that it will decrease the budget of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) for 2010.

Escudero said the government has already turned a blind eye on what to prioritize. The 40-year-old lawmaker said there are four arguments that should be made clear to President Arroyo: Ondoy, Pepeng, Ramil, and Santi.

"This is particularly disturbing because the government has forgotten the importance of strengthening weather forecast systems. The very fact that thousands dies this year due to the onslaught of the four storms mean that PAGASA should get a higher budget," he pointed out.

According to PAGASA's finance officers, they proposed a P1.7 billion budget for 2010 in order to cope up with personnel and maintenance services including the procurement of new equipment. However, they were told that they were only offered P614 million.

"Despite the tragedies, despite the floods, the government failed to see the importance of a modern weather system is," he added.

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