PAGASA modernization bill pushed to be enacted before year ends

Senator Chiz Escudero is optimistic that the proposed law which will modernize Philippines’ weather forecasting bureau Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) will be signed into law by President Aquino before year ends.

Senate Bill No. 2834, or An Act Providing for the Modernization of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), passed the third and final reading at the Senate on June 9 and will soon go through the bicameral conference committee.

The House approved its own version of the PAGASA Modernization Bill in May 2014. The bicameral version will have to be ratified by both the Senate and the House before being submitted to the President for signing.

Senator Escudero is one of the principal authors of the said bill.

“I’m hoping that President Aquino will be able to sign the PAGASA Modernization Bill into law within the year to give long-overdue upgrades to the weather bureau’s equipment, staff pay, research capabilities and communication reach,” said Escudero.

Escudero said that the measure, which seeks an extendable three-year modernization program for PAGASA, is expected to “boost the weather bureau’s capabilities in providing timely, accurate and reliable weather, flood, climate monitoring, forecasting and warning services.”

“The bill also aims to arrest the brain-drain problem in the agency by increasing the basic pay, allowances and other benefits of its workers,” he added.