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PAGASA Eyes New Weather Radar System In Western Visayas

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PAGASA Eyes New Weather Radar System In Western Visayas

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The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Service Administration (PAGASA) is eyeing a new radar system for the Iloilo Synoptic Doppler Radio Station which has been non-operational since August 2021 due to defective power supply, according to a weather specialist on Monday.

The radar station, located at the compound of the Western Visayas Agricultural Research Center (WESVIARC) of the Department of Agriculture in Barangay Hamungaya, Jaro district here, covers around 300 to 400 kilometers of the entire Western Visayas, said PAGASA weather specialist I Ferdinand Rubin, in his presentation during the meeting of the Infrastructure Development Committee (IDC) of the Regional Development Committee (RDC).

The radar system serves as surveillance for rainfall, storms, clouds, and thunderstorm, among others, he added.

“We reminded them that Iloilo City is one of the most vulnerable cities when it comes to climate change consequences,” said IDC co-chairperson Ma. Luisa Segovia in an interview.

Since it is not operational, the station relied on radar stations in Guian town, Eastern Samar province; Mactan, Cebu province; and Palawan province; as well as satellite data and automatic weather stations.

Rubin, in a follow-up interview, said the power supply is a high-powered voltage supply and its other parts are difficult to find since some are no longer being manufactured.

“We proposed for a new radar system,” he said, adding that they have sought PHP200 million funding from their office for the new system.

Segovia said the IDC will be focusing on the development of the radar station as per the advice of his co-chair, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas, while awaiting feedback on the fund request.

Meanwhile, the Iloilo Science and Technology University (ISAT U) is eyeing to offer a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology program starting this year.

Dr. Raul Muyong, ISAT U president, in an interview on Monday, said they will be taking advantage of the presence of the Satellite Ground Receiving Station and the Knowledge Center for Weather, Atmospherical, Astronomical, and Geophysical Observations (KWAAGO) at their Dumangas campus that will serve as their laboratory.

KWAAGO serves as a resource center for scientific materials in the field of space technology, astronomy, meteorology, and remote sensing technology.

The proposal will be presented to the University Curriculum Committee as well as their Academic Council for approval. (PNA)