Press Release
August 12, 2010


In its organizational meeting yesterday, the Senate Committee on Science and Technology cited the improvement of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration's (PAGASA) weather forecasting and information dissemination capability as a key priority.

"We want to avoid another Ondoy and Pepeng, where people were uninformed and therefore unprepared. The first step would be improving PAGASA's institutional and technical capacity," he said.

Angara called for a committee hearing on September 2, serving as a forum for PAGASA to answer questions. We want to give them a chance to explain what's going on, review the state of their personnel and equipment, and find out how we can help solve this perennial challenge of forecasting correctly and getting the information disseminated on time."

Invited to said hearing are Department of Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo, current PAGASA OIC Administrator Graciano Yumul and former Administrator Prisco Nilo. Other resource persons have also been invited.

In the past, PAGASA has already admitted that it is operating with inadequate technology to allow it to monitor and gauge the severity of storms, thus limiting its ability to make accurate predictions.

Angara said the current uproar over the deficiencies of PAGASA is an understandable knee-jerk reaction and should not be ignored; however the solution to this problem does not lie in pointing fingers and blaming the agency for its failures.

"In this age of climate change, we need to adopt a pro-active approach in order to properly address this problem," he said.

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