President Marcos’ statement on improving our disaster forecasting is pure hypocrisy. Long before the Paeng Typhoon disaster, the government knew that our Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) needed significant improvement. With the increasing threats of climate change President Marcos Jr said that this is included in his top priorities. Yet he cuts the budget on departments that address this issue, we are slapped on our face by the inutility of this regime to increase their intelligence and confidential funds.

We were already forewarned in the 2022 budget hearing for the modernization of PAG-ASA weather forecasting, that slashing 1.6B from the P3.048B budget request of the agency will negatively impact the agency’s weather forecasting capacity. The P1.3B budget of PAG ASA in 2022 is even lower than the P1.6B allocated to the agency in 2021. For the 2023 budget, the DOST’s budget request of P44.17B was reduced to P24.06B, lower than the previous year’s budget of P24.27B, so if we are asking where the government’s response fell short, it is rooted on the declining budget allocation of the department.

AGHAM calls the government to rechannel its billions of pesos of intelligence budget to PAG-ASA and other DRRM concerned agencies. President Marcos Jr., should put money where his mouth is.#


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