Press Release
August 6, 2010

Zubiri proposes hourly weather updates
Frequent bulletins to alert public against impending dangers from typhoons

Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri today called on the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) to issue weather bulletins as frequent as possible.

Zubiri issued the call following PAGASA's announcement that four weather disturbances are expected to hit the country this month, the first of which is Typhoon Domeng.

He said, with the average number of 25 to 35 typhoons entering the Philippine Area of Responsibility every year, PAGASA should put in place accurate and more frequent weather reports.

He cited as example the June 2008 tragic sinking of MV Princess of the Stars that claimed the lives of an estimated 600 passengers and crew, during which PAGASA had been blamed for the incident due to its alleged erroneous and delayed weather bulletins.

Zubiri, in a bid to avoid the repeat of such sea-tragedy, has proposed through Senate Bill No. 65, or the proposed "Hourly Weather Bulletin Act of 2010", that PAGASA be mandated to issue hourly weather bulletins during typhoons and other weather disturbances.

He said the hourly updates from PAGASA will help the public prepare for impending disasters and dangers brought about by any typhoon, particularly in areas affected by the disturbance.

The failure of PAGASA officials to issue the regular updates shall be subjected to administrative sanctions and penalties.

Also, the legislative franchise and Certificate of Public Convenience of all broadcast media entities, both radio and television, will be amended to compel them to broadcast the hourly weather reports.

Failure or refusal of a broadcast media to carry out its responsibility shall be considered a violation of their legislative franchise and certificate and will be punishable by the National Telecommunications Commission.

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