THE Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) weather bureau chief of Visayas respects the comments of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama about the capability of the state weather bureau to perform its functions.

In an interview with a national television network, Rama said that he is not relying anymore on Pagasa, stating that the weather bureau lacks the necessary technical men and equipment.

Pagasa Visayas chief Al Quiblat told SunStar Cebu Thursday, November 3, 2022, that Rama's statement is very welcome but he said that the agency is doing its best in providing weather warnings to the public.

Quiblat said the mayor is correct that Pagasa lacks personnel but this is because of the continuous expansion and modernization of its station, which now requires additional manpower.

He said Pagasa needs around 700 additional personnel to be deployed in its weather stations across the entire country.

"Nagdagdag ta og equipment for modernization. Ongoing ang atoang pag install og equipment like radars, automatic weather stations, flood warning centers in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, so nag kinahanglan ta og daghang tao," said Quiblat.

In the Mactan station alone, Quiblat said there are only 14 regular weather forecasters but the ideal number of personnel should be 35.

For the entire Visayas region, there are only 60 personnel that cover 22 weather stations, he added.

Quiblat said they have already sent a request to the Department of Budget and Management for the hiring of additional 85 personnel for the entire Visayas region.

"Kulang pa gyud na siya sa original plantilla namo sa modernization. Na approve ang equipment sa modernization pero ang tao wala pa," said Quiblat.

With Rama's comments, Quiblat said their agency will continue to do its functions, such as maintaining close coordination with local government units for the monitoring of weather disturbances.

Pagasa will now also be using "impact-based forecasting" to efficiently provide accurate and reliable weather forecasts to the public.

"Dili na what the weather will be but what the weather will do, kung unsa nay mabuhat sa weather sa usa ka lugar. This is an ongoing project," said Quiblat. (IRT)