Montejo to further improve PAGASA and empower scientists

By Ma. Cristina C. Arayata

MANILA, July 28 (PNA) — As President Benigno S. Aquino III commended Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Mario Montejo twice in his last State-of-the- Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, the Philippines News Agency asked the latter on his reaction and plans.

“From the start, the President recognizes the role of science and technology (S&T). He made our budget more than double, and he gave as a direction, so this should be felt by Juan,” Montejo said.

The President thanked Montejo for giving hope to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), and for his efforts in making sure S&T will be felt by every Juan.

Montejo said that with regard to disaster preparedness, the President’s instruction is very specific: “Make science work to save lives.”

He noted that the improvement is never-ending, and that there’s a need to improve PAGASA further.

The DOST chief cited that the agency is looking at bigger scenarios like catastrophe.

According to him, the country needs to be prepared for it at least three months before it happens.

Montejo also mentioned they’re working to address climate change, but this takes a lot of modelling, science know-how, among others.

Meanwhile, in terms of making every Juan feel S&T, Montejo said they go out to regional places through the nationwide science tour, tap the communities as well as small-medium enterprises.

“It’s easy to say ‘science nation’, but what are the components?” he asked.

With this, he said the DOST will empower scientists to develop innovative solutions. (PNA)