Pagasa hoping for new chief weatherman

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Pagasa administrator Nathaniel Servando. Photo from Pagasa website

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) is ready to weather another storm—but with a lot of help from a new administrator.

Pagasa has formed a search committee for a permanent administrator following the resignation of its former head, Nathaniel Servando, in June.

The weather bureau has put out newspaper ads announcing the availability of the post, which is under salary grade 28. The resigned Servando used to receive a gross monthly pay of almost P70,000 plus a P2,000 allowance before he reportedly took a teaching job in Qatar.

Officer in charge Vicente Malano has temporarily taken over his post.

Qualified applicants for the administrator post must have a bachelor’s degree, three years of supervisory experience and career service eligibility.

Candidates with a doctorate in a relevant field and managerial experience in a technological institution are preferred.

Applications should be addressed to Science Undersecretary Fortunato De La Peña, chair of the search committee, on or before Sept. 18.

The 48-year-old Servando took a two-month leave of absence in March due to health reasons, after complaining of hypertension and diabetes. But when his leave lapsed in May, he sought an extension until August, which Science Secretary Mario Montejo allowed.

By then, Pagasa officials had learned that Servando had taken a teaching post at a university in Qatar, Malano said in an earlier press conference.

Meanwhile, Pagasa reported that a new low-pressure area (LPA) approached the country’s southern parts yesterday, threatening to form into a tropical depression as it headed toward Mindanao.

At 4 p.m. on Friday, the LPA was observed 640 kilometers east of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, Pagasa said.

“This weather system will bring cloudy skies with moderate to occasionally heavy rains over eastern Mindanao, which may trigger flash floods and landslides,” the weather bureau said in an advisory.

Eastern Visayas and the rest of Mindanao will have scattered rain showers and thunderstorms, it added.

Pagasa forecaster Connie Dadivas said it was too early to say if the LPA would develop into a depression, although the chance remained while it was still over water. The odds diminish if it makes landfall over Mindanao, she said.

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