P1.6-B budget cut to affect Pagasa's modernization efforts — DOST | Inquirer News
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P1.6-B budget cut to affect Pagasa’s modernization efforts — DOST

/ 06:25 PM September 01, 2021

Pagasa

MANILA, Philippines — The P1.6 billion slash in the proposed 2022 budget of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) will affect the state weather agency’s modernization program, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña said Wednesday.

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During the budget hearing at the House committee on appropriations, Pagasa Administrator Vicente Malano said they have requested a P3.048 billion budget for 2022. However, the approved budget under the National Expenditure Program (NEP) for the bureau is only P1.385 billion.

“’Yung aming request for 2022 is P3.048 billion. Ang nandito po sa NEP is P1.385 billion. Ang dahilan ay walang naapprove na budget for projects which include infra or may component na infrastructure,” he told the panel.

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(Our request for 2022 is P3.048 billion. The amount under NEP is P1.385 billion. The reason for this is because no project with infrastructure components was approved.)

Baguio City Rep. Mark Go noted that the P1.3 billion budget was also lower than the current P1.8 billion budget of Pagasa for 2021.

For his part, Dela Peña admitted that the budget cut will affect efforts for modernizing the services of Pagasa, which is under the jurisdiction of the DOST. He noted that among the funds slashed from Pagasa are those meant for building infrastructure in remote areas.

“Syempre ‘yan ay makakadelay din sa ating modernization implementation, but in terms of accuracy of our forecasts, ginagarantiya naman ng Pagasa na ito ay mapapanatili natin at maiimprove pa sa kasalukuyang level,” he added.

(Of course, it will delay the implementation of modernization programs, but in terms of accuracy of our forecasts, Pagasa guarantees that this will be maintained and further improved.)

The DOST’s proposed 2022 budget under NEP was P24 billion, a figure also far from the P42 billion it originally proposed for next year.

/MUF

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TAGS: 2022 budget, Budget cut, DOST, House of Representatives, Pagasa, Vicente Malano
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