The storm months are here anew. This is the season of monsoon rains, gusty winds and Pag-Asa-bashing. Nineteen typhoons enter the country each year on the average, and some of them are very destructive especially the super typhoons which can cause destruction in various infrastructures, homes and sources of livelihood. Typhoon monitoring is vested in Pag-Asa, the Philippine government agency that monitors weather disturbances in the country.
What is Pag-Asa and how was it involved in storms and monsoons? Pag-Asa is the acronym of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration. It is Filipino for hope…I hope this time they get a more accurate prediction of Philippine weather conditions. This agency is the equivalent of the United States Meteorological Organization (USWOMO). How did this agency evolve?
Before January 1, 1865, meteorological observations were made by the Jesuit priests stationed in the Philippines. It was only after this date that the Jesuits started a systematic recording of these weather phenomena through the Observatorio del Ateneo Municipal, located in the Ateneo campus. The Spanish Royal Decree of April 28, 1884 recognized the Observatorio as an official institution of the government.
When the Americans took over, ACT No. 131, enacted by the Philippine Commission, dated May 22, 1901 established the Weather Bureau. On December 8, 1972, through Presidential Decree No. 78, the Weather Bureau was reorganized into the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration the acronym for Pag-Asa. This agency, which was formerly under the Department of Commerce and Industry was transferred to the Department of National Defense.
Presidential Decree No. 78 was amended by Presidential Decree No. 1149. The amendments included the establishment of two additional major units. The Typhoon Moderation Research and Development Office (TMRDO) and the National Flood Forecasting Office (NFFO). On September 17, 1984 Executive Order No. 984 transferred the PAGASA from the Ministry of National Defense to the National Science and Technology Authority (NSTA) and also provided from certain changes in its structure. Executive Order No. 128 dated January 30, 1987, mandated the reorganization of the NSTA now the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) under which the PAGASA belongs. On January 1, 1988, pursuant to Executive Order No. 128, the PAGASA was reorganized consisting of (5) major branches and three (3) support units.
As of 2011, Pag-Asa has installed Doppler Weather Radars in critical areas of the country. This equipment monitors wind movement and the amount of rainfall in a storm. With the new technological advancements present, a typhoon’s route and strength can now be easily traced and detected although there is no gadget yet that is invented to predict the occurrence of a typhoon.
I. Spanish Laws
A. Spanish Royal Decree of April 28, 1884
Note: Under the Treaty of Paris signed
between the United States and Spain in 1898,
where Spain ceded the Philippines to the
United States, all Spanish laws were declared
null and void.
I. Philippine Laws (Official Gazette Hard Copy;
On-line Official Gazette Unavailable)
1. ACT No. 131
Official Gazette volume 1,
(Issue date: January 1, 1903)
B. Presidential Decrees
1. Presidential Decree No. 78
Official Gazette Supplement
Volume 68, No. 50, page 9434-1-33
(Issue date: December 11, 1972)
2. Presidential Decree No. 1149
Official Gazette Volume 73,
No. 31, page 7126
(Issue date: August 1, 1977)
C. Executive Orders
1. Executive Order No. 128, Series 1987
Official Gazette Volume 83, No. 13
(Issue date: March 30, 1987)
III. URL Website
A. Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical
and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA)