Lawmaker Hopeful PAGASA Modernization Bill Will Be Signed Into Law This Year
July 4, 2015
Senator Chiz Escudero is optimistic that the bill seeking to modernize the country’s weather bureau will be signed into law before the 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.
“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, one of the principal authors of the bill.
Escudero said he expects smooth bicameral conference committee deliberations since there are no major differences between the House and the Senate versions.
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.
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.
The proposed legislation also wants to improve research and development, promote human resource, and develop ways to integrate disaster management with socioeconomic development planning and water resource management.
It also seeks to enhance regional weather service centers, and develop a “technology-based” and financially self-sufficient” data center.
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