• Pagasa to take over Project NOAH

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    THE Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) will be taking over the Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (Project NOAH), according to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato dela Peña.

    Dela Peña mentioned that Pagasa will be in-charge of the program once it ends on February 28 since an extension was given to the department and part of the condition was to transfer technologies for use of operations in government agencies who have “relevant mandate.”

    “In this project, Pagasa is the principal government agency that would take over the operations aspect of the delivered outputs/technologies,” he said in a statement released late Monday.

    He added that the project turnover is “timely” as the state weather bureau’s Modernization Law has been approved by then-President Benigno Aquino 3rd last November 2015, as the law aims to improve Pagasa’s technological operational capacity.

    The deliverables may be ready for adoption by the Pagasa but dela Peña said if there is a new project proposal, it can be submitted, evaluated and can even be considered for funding by the government.

    Dela Peña clarified that such statements of no funds is for the current project which really has an end date.

    “A new project would mean a new project name. The outcomes or result of Project NOAH is now due for use and adoption, specifically by Pagasa,” he said.

    Dela Peña added that the turnover to Pagasa would mean that Project Noah will be institutionalized.

    Project NOAH was launched by DOST in 2011 and serves as a response to Aquino’s instructions to “put in place a responsive program disaster prevention and mitigation, specifically, for the Philippines’ warning agencies to be able to provide a 6-hour lead-time warning to vulnerable communities against disasters.”

    It started in 2011 and most component projects were completed in2015 until its extension in 2016 covered additional targets and deliverables.

    Last week, Project NOAH Executive Director Mahar Lagmay said the program had to be discontinued for lack of funding by the government. DEMPSEY REYES

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    1 Comment

    1. Everyone in gov’t knows that begging for more and more extensions in overdue projects are a frequent excuse to hide failure of the project or malfeasance.

      After every gov’t project the terminal audited report must be submitted to account the cost per benefit, and it must pass COA scrutiny. By the end of Feb. 2017 a deadline already extended, by now he must finally have inventory, systems inspections and related pertinent papers in order, only then is he cleared to pursue a sequel project just as the Science secretary stated.

      What is the problem with that, unless he is hiding something. We want to know in black and white how billions and billions of the Filipino taxpayers was spent on Noah, but his resulting to press-conference sympathy instead of getting his accountabilities in order is a sure sign that there is something fishy going on.