By Emmanuel P. Solis

windvane5LEGAZPI CITY, March 27 (PNA) -– The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has chosen this city as the only local government unit across the country to get the 2015 Wind Vane Award. The award is in recognition of the strong support of the City Government of Legazpi to the programs and projects of the PAGASA on weather forecasting and its risk reduction management practices and climate change information to the public,

Legazpi City Mayor Noel E. Rosal and City Administrator and City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CDRRMC) action man Wilfredo “Pecos” Intia received the Plaque of Appreciation from PAGASA’s Chief Budget Officer Lilibeth Gonzales and Engineer Edwin Madresa, PAGASA’s Engineering Department officer-in-charge, during the culminating activity of 150th years anniversary of PAGASA and World Meteorological Day on Monday at the Science Garden Complex, Agham Road, Diliman, Quezon City. On that same ceremony, Mary Antonette Lolo, a high school student of the Divine Word College of Legazpi, was also named by PAGASA as the champion in recent poster-making contest.

Rosal described Legazpi as the main venue of the risk reduction management study tour by different local government units across the country as, he said, his administration is very aggressive in informing the people in the community to make them more aware of the dangerous effects of climate change in the society.

He said his administration has made more innovations in improving risk reduction services to its residents and always put them in safe places in order to maintain zero-casualty incidence in times of natural hazards.

The Wind Vane Award is the highest recognition that PAGASA gives to individuals that contribute to the important function of the agency to make people more aware of the dangerous effects of climate change in the society like typhoon, earthquake, tsunami and other forms of calamity. The search for wind vane awardees started in 2005 for the purpose of encouraging the people to become more active in participating in risk reduction management practices in the community and to work hand in hand in giving information to the constituents in order to minimize casualty as well as reduce the effect of calamities on infrastructure, health, education and agricultural sector.

Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Mario G. Montejo commended the PAGASA for the recognition it gives to individuals that have contributed significantly towards the realization of its mandate to provide protection against natural hazards and to boost the quality of services in ensuring the safety of the constituents in the community. The annual wind vane award stands as a testament to PAGASA’s commitment to strongly resolve to attain world-class capacity in dealing with the adverse impact of climate change, especially on marginalized sector of the society, Montejo pointed out. He said this search also seeks to be an inspiration to strengthen partnership with other National Disaster Risk Reduction Management institutions to properly serve the public and protect it in times of weather disturbances.

He said the DOST will always give strong support to PAGASA to continue to improve the delivery of better forecasting and produce high-quality weather information that would be valuable to the country’s economic and social growth, trade and commerce as well as agriculture, tourism and environment. Landrico V. Dalida Jr., officer-in-charge of the Office of the Deputy Administrator for Operation and Services of PAGASA, pointed out that Legazpi City is a model of very good humanitarian services by way of its active support in improving the weather-related services of PAGASA. Dalida said he knows Legazpi is always prepared for any kind of disaster as he described Rosal as a kind of leader that cares so much for the safety of his constituents. Other agencies and individuals who got awards were Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas, Montejo, Civil Defense Administrator and Undersecretary Alexander Pama, Engineer Claro S. Doctor of PAGASA, Hazel Arandez Tanchuling, Reynante Pelayo of UNTV and Mario Verner S. Monsano. (PNA) FPV/FGS/EPS/CBD/RSM