Press Release
October 18, 2010


As Typhoon Juan (international name Megi) makes landfall on the Philippine area of responsibility today, Senator Edgardo J. Angara reminded the Philippine government to prioritize the much-needed modernization of PAG-ASA's technology and training.

"We have only seen about half the number of typhoons that we normally see in a year. It is wise to assume that we will see more storms before the year ends, so we must make sure that the first line of defense--in this case, PAG-ASA--is up-to-date in their forecasting technology," he said.

Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, recently presided over a hearing to discuss the budget of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and PAG-ASA. The proposal to modernize these agencies were brought up as a response to hugely inaccurate tracking of Typhoon Basyang earlier this year.

"The PAG-ASA will always be in the forefront in these kinds of situations, which is why there is an urgent need to update their equipment and provide training for their personnel as soon as possible. The accuracy of their forecasts and their ability to help prepare the people for high-risk situations are big factors in minimizing the damage done by these calamities," he stressed.

According to Angara, the flow of information from PAG-ASA to the other agencies such as the National Disaster Coordinating Council is vital when facing natural calamities such as Typhoon Juan.

"The NDCC, the Coast Guard, the Air Traffic Controllers and the regional risk management reduction divisions all rely on data from PAG-ASA. Then it becomes their task to work with each other, using this information to avert disasters," he explained.

Angara also reminded the public to keep in touch with their family and have emergency numbers on hand, and be ready for anything that might happen.

"We should learn from Ondoy, and the other calamities that we went through. We should keep in contact with our families when we go out of the house and we must also make sure that we have emergency supplies at home such as food, water, candles and batteries," he said.

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