Tarlac, Sorsogon, Bohol tap PAGASA for early warning system in agriculture



PNA, Manila

06 March 2012





The local government units of Gerona, Tarlac; Irosin, Sorsogon; and Tubigon, Bohol signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) on Monday for the latter to provide continuous mentoring and capacity building in setting up their own local Automatic Weather Station (AWS).


The mayors of these towns are pioneering climate information and forecasting for agriculture to give them sufficient warning on extreme weather conditions and be able to build defenses against possible destruction to lives and properties.


These are necessary infrastructure for the community-based Early Warning System (EWS) for agriculture or the Climate Field School.


According to Jessica Reyes-Cantos, lead convenor of Rice Watch and Action Network (R1), that the local chief executives put pesos and centavos in these plans and were included in the annual investment plan of each of the municipality leading to this MOU signing with PAGASA.


“We are proud to declare that the project produced local development plans in agriculture that are premised on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.,” Cantos said, who has been working with these LGUs in its project, Integrating Climate Risks Management into Local Agriculture Development Planning since 2009.


Under the MOU, PAGASA’s Climatology and Agro-meteorology Division will provide appropriate/relevant climate information/ data to these municipalities; provide technical assistance in the operation of the local weather instruments; assist in analysis of climate and weather data for use in the Climate Field School of the municipality; assist in the establishment of agro-meteorological station in the municipality; assist in the installation, maintenance and calibration of weather instruments upon the establishment of the agro-meteorological station; and assist in personnel skills and methodological practice enhancement programs in the operation of the agro-meteorological station.


The local government, on the other hand, is committed to set up an agro-meteorological station compliant with the World Meteorological standards within the next 3 years; provide resources for the maintenance of instruments, building, observation ground and personnel salaries that will be trained and assigned at the agro-meteorological station through the supervision and management of the Municipal Agriculturist; support the staff of PAGASA who will be providing on site skills training and assistance to the agro-meteorological staff in the future; support initiatives for agro-meteorological technical personnel skills development and methodological practice enhancement programs of PAGASA; sustain the Climate Field School program for the agriculture sector in order to optimize production and mitigate impacts of weather/climate-related phenomena; and institutionalize the expansion of use of weather/climate information in other services.


To help enhance the capacities of the three municipalities, R1 organized the training-workshop on Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction-Climate Change Adaptation in Local Development Planning which started last Monday until Thursday (March 8) to help expand the application and use of the climate information, analysis, and forecast that were initially prepared for agriculture.


“With extreme weather conditions creating unimaginable damages to lives and properties in different parts of the country, we encourage other local governments to follow this example and put matters into their hands through planning of interventions. We only need to tap the appropriate government agencies, break some of the bureaucratic layers, and identify ways of working together,” explained Cantos.


Aside from PAGASA, among the workshop speakers are Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Joel Rudinas, Climate Change Commission, climate change and disaster risk reduction management experts from the private sector, Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Phivolcs, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Health, Department of Education and others from fisheries and agriculture sectors.


The workshop is designed to enhance the knowledge of people who are strategic in the operation and utilization of information to be generated by the early warning system of the LGUs.


Participating are the LGU Planning section, Municipal Administrators, Sangguniang Bayan members who are either the Chair of the Committee on Agriculture or Environment, and the Municipal Agriculturists and Agriculturist Technicians. (PNA)


CLTC - stands for C. Lloyd T. Caliwan reporter from Philippines News Agency (PNA)














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