PAG-ASA better off under Department of Disaster Management?
With all the recent typhoons, one just had to ask: is Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) better off under the Department of Disaster Management?
This was raised by Columnist Francis Tolentino, who said “PAGASA’s mandate is more aligned with the mandate of the Department of Disaster Management which is to ensure the protection of lives and properties in times of disasters and calamities”.
PAGASA, according to him, is mandated to provide protection against natural calamities and utilize scientific knowledge as an effective instrument to ensure the safety, well-being, and economic security of all the people, and for the promotion of national progress.
Right now, PAGASA operates under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
“PAGASA’s vision is to be the Center of Excellence for weather-related information and services, helping develop a disaster and climate-resilient nation.
In order to hasten the achievement of this vision, I propose to transfer PAGASA to the Department of Disaster Management,” Tolentino wrote in his column for Manila Bulletin.
He explained that while PAGASA has been improved through the PAGASA Modernization Act of 2015, greater resources may still be allocated for the agency if placed under the Department of Disaster Management for the purchase of advance weather monitoring equipment, for capacity building of its personnel, for additional benefits and incentives for its employees, and for the establishment of more weather monitoring stations in the country.
“The information and data analysis that PAGASA provides will be crucial in the formulation of disaster management and climate change mitigation plans of the Department of Disaster Management. Hence, placing agency under the department will be beneficial from both ends,” Tolentino further said.