TWO doppler radars funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have been turned over to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).
“The radar project under JICA grant-aid scheme targets the improvement of meteorological radar system in the Philippines which is guaranteed to boost Pagasa’s capabilities in weather monitoring and forecasting,” Pagasa Administrator Vicente Malano said during the turn-over ceremony.
The two radars will be stationed in Aparri, Cagayan and Guiuan, Eastern Samar.
The radar project also serves as part of the 3.35-billion yen official development assistance of JICA for the state weather bureau to boost the country’s disaster resiliency.
According to JICA chief representative Susumu Ito, the first doppler radar was given in 2012. It was set up in Virac, Catanduanes.
“Incidentally, Southeast Asia was among the most disaster-prone sub-regions in the Asia Pacific. This means we need to further step up our resiliency against disasters,” Ito said.
“By sharing Japan’s resources and expertise to Pagasa, as we have done since the 1970s, we hope to help Pagasa and local communities step up its response work,” he added. Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato dela Peña said the doppler radars “will serve as early warning systems to guide” the local government units and the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council of Aparri and Guiuan.
Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhide Ishikawa commended the partnership between Pagasa and JICA.
“Disaster risk reduction is one of the most important areas of cooperation as both Japan and the Philippines are disaster-prone countries,” Ishikawa said. “It is with this spirit that Japan decided to assist the Philippines by enhancing the capability of Pagasa to effectively minimize and prevent damages that tropical cyclones and other severe weather phenomena may cause.”
In 2007, JICA dispatched technical experts and consultants to the country to conduct a preliminary study on the improvement of Meteorological Radar Systems in the Philippines.
The project was approved and implemented in July 2010 with the main objective to upgrade the observational capability of Pagasa’s weather radar network for monitoring and now-casting of weather related disturbances.