House approves Pagasa modernization bill

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

THE House of Representatives approved on third and final reading the bill seeking to strengthen the capability of the state weather bureau to make timely and accurate forecasts and warnings.

Counterpart bills filed by Senators Loren Legarda and Ferdinand Marcos Jr., however, are still pending in the science and technology committee.

House Bill 4397 intends to raise the research and development capability and human resources development of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) to stop brain drain.

Key provisions mandate a human resource development training component that includes a scholarship program for undergraduate and graduate degrees.

These degrees are in meteorology and shall be implemented in coordination with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Commission on Higher Education, and Higher Education Institutions.

The measure also mandates the DOST, in coordination with the Department of Budget and Management, to develop a new salary scale consistent with Republic Act 8439 (Magna Carta for Scientists, Engineers, Researchers and other Science and Technology personnel in government) with a corresponding increase of the base pay, allowances, and other benefits of the agency subject to the approval of the President. (John Carlo Cahinhinan/Sunnex)

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