PAGASA as it celebrates the 150th year on March 23 of the national service in the country, coinciding with the World Meteorological Day (WMD) with the theme “Climate Knowledge for Climate Action,” was loaded with fun and enriching activities.

Focusing on the theme of the WMD, a Scientific Forum featured a discussion on climate change, disaster prevention and mitigation, agricultural issues, and the El Nino phenomenon.

Highlighting the event is the conferment of the 2015 Wind Vane Awards. The Wind Vane Awards is conducted every year to recognize the contribution and support of individuals and organizations to the disaster-risk reduction and management projects of PAGASA.

This year, the recipients of the award are DILG Secretary Manuel A. Roxas II, OCD Administrator and NDRRMC Executive Director Alexander P. Pama, PAGASA former chief Claro S. Doctor, Rice Watch and Action Network Secretariat Coordinator  Hazel Arandez-Tanchuling, Legazpi City Mayor Noel E. Rosal, UNTV Reporter Reynante A. Pelayo, Cagayan de Oro CDRRMO Mario Verner S. Monsanto, PAHRODF, and DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo.

Meanwhile, a press launching was held for the new services of the Agency, the Storm Surge Warning Signals, Modified Tropical Cyclone Warning System, new PAGASA website, Simplification of Weather/Climate Information Materials, and the meteorological glossary Patnubay sa Weder Forkast.”

The Storm Surge Warning System is the newest service of PAGASA. It is a shift from general weather forecast to working towards the impact-based storm surge forecasting and warning. It is similar with the current color-coded Rainfall Warning System of the Agency and is classified according to the level of severity and required actions to minimize risks.

Incorporating the risk analysis of Dr. Leoncio A. Amadore, former director of PAGASA, the modified Public Storm Warning System will focus on the Super Typhoon category and will emphasize on an impact-based warning system.

In compliance with Administrative Order No. 39, mandating all government agencies to migrate to the government webhosting service (GWHS) of the DOST-Information and Communications Technology Office, PAGASA will also be launching the new website under igov.

The Be Secure Project, the newest edition to PAGASA’s efforts in simplifying technical terms, will ensure that climate information is understood by decision MAKERS and the general public. Be Secure Projects  also provides technical support to DOST-PAGASA to improve its weather  forecasting and simplification of its climate change forecasts.

A finally, “Patnubay se Weder Forkast”, a glossary of meteorological terms in Filipino will be presented for the first time. The said glossary is created by Komisyon ng Wikang Pilipino, in consultation and coordination with DOST-PAGASA.

The Weather Bureau’s humble beginning actually started in 1865. Through the efforts of the Jesuit scholars in Ateneo Municipal de Manila, the bureau become an important tool in weather forecasting. Because of the growing demands of the Observatory’s services, it became an institution in 1894. In 1997 under Presidential decree   78, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) was established.

After transferring to various departments, PAGASA under Executive Order 128 was finally transferred to the Department of Science and Technology .

PAGASA, in its 150th anniversary, continuous to remain dedicated and committed in serving the Filipino people with the test of  time (150 years).

Meanwhile, DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo commended PAGASA for its commitment to move forward amidst numerous challenges in history during his opening speech in the 150th anniversary celebration.

He said that we can expect PAGASA to be “one-step ahead in the ever changing times.”

Montejo added that DOST and PAGASA are moving toward technological self-reliance by improving our capacity in developing our own technology and human resources. He revealed DOST was able to develop its own weather sensors and technologies in the recent years. (PSciJourn MegaManila)