Friday, July 13, 2012

Palace denies 'exodus' in Pagasa

MALACAÑANG on Wednesday denied the supposed plan of weather experts in the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) to resign and go abroad and seek greener pastures. Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the Palace assured that science and technology experts of Pagasa will get the benefits they deserve as provided under Republic Act 8439, or the Magna Carta for scientists, engineers, researchers and other science and technology personnel in government. "I cleared the report with the DOST (Department of Science and Technology) and Pagasa and the president of their union Weatherman’s Association assured that they are not planning to launch a strike and they are not leaving the weather bureau," Valte said. She said the Palace is aware of the concerns of the weather bureau employees, including the suspension of their benefits. She said the issue of temporary suspension on the hazard and longevity pay of the employees was due to lack of funds caused by the recent fund shortage in Pagasa. She assured that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is continuously exhausting all its efforts to address the issue. "We were informed by Director Liboro of the DOST, that the officials of Pagasa met with the officials of DBM yesterday because the DBM reviewed their financial report of operations to look for funds for their hazard pay," she added. Recent reports claimed that the government weathermen's group has been raising their concerns for the suspension of such benefits since March of this year. The benefits include subsistence allowance of P160 per day, hazard pay equivalent to 15 percent of their salary, as well as the longevity pay. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex) ..