MANILA— State weathermen are dead-set on countering what they consider as propaganda against them and their agency Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
PAGASA’s Philippine Weathermen Employees Association (PWEA) president Mon Agustin said they will continue their counter-charge by issuing press statements disputing claims, including those on social media, questioning their capability to provide timely and reliable forecasts.
“We’re not mulling legal action but we’ll dispute such claims, and even rally when necessary, since these are untrue and malicious,” he said.
He assured PAGASA weathermen are professionally trained to provide reliable and timely forecasts so the public can be guided accordingly.
PAGASA weathermen are dedicated to their work and some, including weather specialist Constancio Arpon Jr., even died in the line of duty helping generate needed forecasts, he continued.
PWEA won’t allow anyone to discredit its members and PAGASA, he assured.
“If our credibility is destroyed, this puts people at risk since they won’t listen to our warnings – that’s dangerous,” he said.
PWEA views claims discrediting PAGASA and its weathermen as an attempt to justify extension of Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards), the science department’s undertaking for a more accurate, integrated and responsive disaster prevention and mitigation system particularly in high-risk areas nationwide.
NOAH’s Executive Dir. Dr. Mahar Lagmay said the project is ending this month due to lack of funds.
“To solicit sympathy for that project’s extension at the expense of PAGASA is a dangerous strategy,” Agustin said.
He added it is unpatriotic to destroy the credibility of PAGASA which is tasked to protect people’s lives.