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NEWS UPDATES 30 September 2009

Taiwan helps upgrade Philippines’ weather forecasting capacity

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The government of Taiwan is providing the Philippines with 15 automatic weather stations (AWS) worth 13.5 million peso (1$=48 peso), in an effort to boost the capability of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) to forecast weather, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.

According to the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (Meco), the country’s representative agency in Taiwan, the 15 sets of basic AWS will allow Pagasa to access better and on-time weather data, enabling it to get better forecasts of weather disturbances approaching the country.

Meco resident representative Antonio Basilio said in a statement that at the 22nd Joint Science and Technology Conference on September 16 here, the two countries had agreed to establish and operate a network of 15 AWS nationwide.

These AWS sets—each composed of a data logger, data modem, solar power supply, computer workstation and software—will serve as an early-warning system for typhoons and other weather disturbances.

Under the technical cooperation, Taiwan will provide 13.5 million peso worth of hardware, including the 15 sets of AWS and peripherals, as well as the necessary training for the personnel who will operate the AWS.

The Philippines, via Pagasa, on the other hand, will provide the appropriate sites for each of the 15 AWS and identify the personnel who will manage them. Pagasa will also have to shell out more than 2 million peso for the installation, operation and maintenance of the 15 AWS. Data generated by the AWS network will be shared by both the Philippines and Taiwan.

"Taiwan and the Philippines must really cooperate more actively and deeply with each other in the area of weather forecasting. The AWS Project will be a major milestone in the collaboration of both countries to keep their people safer from the onslaught of typhoons and other weather disturbances,’’ Basilio said.

Taiwan last year donated 10 million peso worth of equipment to Pagasa to help rehabilitate the agency’s air weather station in Tanay, Rizal.


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