We Need a Modern Weatherforecasting Service PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Thursday, 08 October 2009 10:20

A Modern Weather Forecasting System is an Essential Service!

Upgrade Pagasa Equipment Now!

Moratorium on Debt Servicing to Pay for Essential and Basic Services!

Now we find out that Pagasa’s (the country’s official weather bureau) main computer is on screensaver mode receiving no data because the main weather radar in Baguio City is on the blink (again) and all the while typhoon Pepeng/Parma continues to threaten Luzon.

We also keep hearing the refrain from Pagasa officials of the need to buy five modern ‘Doppler radars’ – equipment that we should have had decades ago. Modern weather radars are mostly pulse-Doppler radars, capable of detecting the motion of rain droplets in addition to intensity of the precipitation. Both types of data can be analyzed to determine the structure of storms and their potential to cause severe weather. This equipment could have predicted the intensity and severity of typhoon Ondoy.

We are also told that this Doppler radar costs $100,000 a piece, or a total of 25 million pesos, for the radar that we desperately need to protect and save the life and limb of our people.

SO, what’s the problem! Just buy it!

Where will the money come from? From our moneys spent on foreign debt servicing, could be one place to start. Over the five-year period from 2003-2007, for example, our foreign debt repayments amounted to some 1000 billion pesos. In the last five years Pagasa received only P4 billion for equipment upgrades. So do the math. It’s not rocket science to figure out where the money can and should come from.

A modern weather forecasting system is an essential service for the country. The problem is not the lack of money. The problem is the priorities of our political leaders and governments. Apparently it’s more important to service our dubious foreign debt than prioritize essential services and therefore the welfare and even lives of the masa.  This is the horrific truth.

The problem is that the system places little or no priority on the needs of the masa – on human needs. Partido Lakas ng Masa calls for an immediate moratorium on debt servicing so that we can buy the necessary modern weather forecasting equipment which is an essential service to save lives, as well as to prioritize the provision of other basic services for the masa.

 

October 8, 2009

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 January 2010 18:20
 

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