• Malacañang fast-tracks weather agency modernization

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    As the rainy season approaches, President Benigno Aquino 3rd has certified as urgent an act modernizing the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical
    Services Administration (Pagasa), a Palace official said on Friday.

    In a press conference, presidential deputy spokesman Abigail Valte said the President certified the bill as urgent on June 5, a day before Congress adjourned.

    ”Sayang naman po kung hindi ito maipapasa nitong Kongreso,” said Valte, adding that the bill is one the measures already in an advanced stage of legislation. “This is something we sorely need.”

    She said the government is installing rain gauges and Doppler radars, “something that is needed for the modernization of Pagasa,” Valte said.

    Under the proposed law, the modernization program will cover three years and will upgrade Pagasa’s physical resources and operational techniques through the acquisition of state-of-the art instruments, equipment and facilities in providing timely and reliable forecasting and warning service.

    The measure also aims to improve the country’s warning services to equip the general public with information to protect agriculture, transportation and other industries across the country.

    The bill recognizes the need for the government to find ways to integrate management and socio-economic development planning at national and local levels. It also hopes to establish regional weather service centers in strategic areas in the country.

    Certain state universities and colleges, including the University of the Philippines, will offer undergraduate degrees in meteorology within three years from enactment of the proposed act.

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