To improve its technological operational capacity and strengthen its role as the premier national weather agency, 1-Pacman Partylist Representative Mikee Romero filed a bill seeking to increase modernization funding to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.
The lawmaker filed House Bill 3588 which seeks to provide additional modernization funding to PAGASA to ensure that the country fulfills its commitments to international meteorological and climate change agreements.
“The government must undertake the modernization of PAGASA in order for the agency to improve its technological operational capacity, strengthen its role as the premier national weather agency and to attain its vision as a center of excellence for weather-related information services,” Romero said.
He explained that PAGASA is the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services agency of the country which is primarily mandated to provide protection against all natural calamities and to assure the safety, well-being and economic security of all the people.
It also promotes national progress by undertaking scientific and technological services in meteorology, hydrology, climatology, astronomy and other geophysical sciences.
Romero stressed that there is a need to strengthen the capability of government personnel tasked to provide atmospheric, geophysical, astronomical and other weather and climate-related services and information to the public.
Under the proposed measure, the PAGASA modernization fund would be sourced from the following – the amount of P2 billion to be taken from the share of the National Government in the gross income of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
For two years after the effectivity of the Act, the amount of P1 billion per year should be released to PAGASA. The entire amount of P2 billion, including any interest income thereon, should be used exclusively for capital outlay;
Income from PAGASA Specialized Products and Services and Cost Recovery Program provided under Republic Act 10692; and loans, grants, bequests, and donations whether from local or foreign sources.
The Secretary of the DoST with the approval of the National Economic and Development Authority and subsequently the Department of Finance also is authorized to enter into loan agreements with foreign financial institutions.
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