The Philippines has long been working on solutions to improve disaster response and management. As we recently discovered, NASA was using a rainfall analysis tool to track Typhoon Koppu’s impact on the country.
It was announced recently that Philippines President Benigno Aquino signed the Republic Act 10692 into law. This provides capabilities to modernise the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA). The Government will provide USD$63.6 million in initial overlay towards the modernisation plan, with USD$31.8 released two years thereafter.
PAGASA, an agency operating under the Department of Science and Technology, will be able to modernise its current technological abilities to meet the increasingly fluctuant weather patterns. In turn, this will strengthen the agency’s role in providing excellent weather-related information services and support.
“We at DOST commend our legislators and the President for setting this vital legislation into motion.” Montejo said. “This only proves that the government is looking after the welfare of its people. And with the modernization of PAGASA and Project NOAH’s platform for disaster risk early warning, and the full cooperation of the public, we guarantee that in the coming years, our nation will no longer grieve for the loss of lives during calamities,” exclaimed DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo.
Through this modernisation, PAGASA will work to improve its physical resources, operational technique, while upgrading its equipment, facilities and systems. The improvements made will aid weather and flood monitoring, warning systems, agro-meteorological observation and agricultural security services, across the Philippines.
The DOST-PAGASA data centre will be enhanced through the modernisation process, as well. This will allow for greater technical outputs such as data and statistics insights.
The modernisation process will also improve the delivery of hydrometeorological information to raise public awareness and response for disaster response.
As the weather conditions have become more severe over the past several years, the Philippines has seen a greater demand to better analyse and predict these threats. This will require the use of frontier technology built for weather forecasting and measurement.