PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 78
ESTABLISHING THE PHILIPPINE ATMOSPHERIC GEOPHYSICAL AND ASTRONOMICAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION
WHEREAS, there were pending before Congress prior to the promulgation of Proclamation No. 1081, dated September 21, 1972, certain priority measures vital to the national development program of the government, and which were duly certified by the President as urgent measures;
WHEREAS, one of these priority measures is the “Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Science Act of 1972, S. No. 940, establishing the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration”, introduced in the Senate;
WHEREAS, the “Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Science Act of 1972” is necessary for the successful prosecution of the Government’s program to mitigate or reduce the losses of life, property, and the economy of the nation occasioned by typhoons, floods, drought, and other destructive weather disturbances;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, Commander-in-Chief of all the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and pursuant to Proclamation No. 1081 dated September 21, 1972, as amended, in order to achieve the Government’s avowed objective of providing environmental protection and utilizing scientific knowledge as an effective instrument to ensure the safety, well-being, and economic security of all the people, and for the promotion of national progress, do hereby order and decree that the “Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Science Act of 1971”, as follows, with some modifications, shall be as it is hereby adopted, approved and made part of the law of the land:
Section 1. Title. – This Act shall be known and cited as the “Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Science Act of 1972.”
Section 2. Declaration of Policy. – It is hereby declared to be the policy of the State to provide protection against natural calamities and utilize scientific knowledge as an effective instrument to insure the safety, well-being, and economic security of all the people, and for promotion of national progress.
In the implementation of the foregoing policy, the government shall in accordance with the provisions of this Act:
(a) Intensify research efforts in the atmospheric, geophysical and astronomical sciences and furnish incentives for same;
(b) Undertake measures to further minimize the adverse effects of natural disasters such as typhoons, floods, earthquakes, and tsunami (seismic sea wave);
(c) Recommend progressive innovations in the educational system of the country in order to infuse greater awareness of the growing needs for protection against natural calamities so that said system will provide a steady source of competent scientific personnel and technological manpower;
(d) Facilitate the acquisition, collection, archiving, and processing of atmospheric, geophysical and astronomical data and making same available in usable form for the benefit of agriculture, commerce and industry, and the general public;
(e) Promote coordination and cooperation in atmospheric, geophysical and astronomical science research, to obtain consolidated effort and minimize duplication thereby optimizing results;
(f) Establish weather stations in strategic places throughout the country including Batanes, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon,Samarand Romblon.
Section 3. Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services: Powers, Duties and Functions. – To carry out the provisions of the preceding section, there is hereby created a Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, herein referred to as “PAGASA” which shall be under the Department of National Defense, with the following functions, powers and duties, among others:
(a) To observe and report the weather of the Philippines and specified adjacent areas, issue forecasts and warnings of weather and flood conditions affecting national safety, welfare and economy;
(b) To undertake in coordination with other agencies, activities geared towards the moderation of typhoons availing of modern scientific and technological advances in order to reduce their destructive potentials while retaining their beneficial effects and also to undertake other weather modification projects;
(c) To conduct continuous earthquake recording and observation through an adequate seismological network throughout the country to gather as much information as may be necessary to provide basis for determination of safety factors in the design of building structures and infrastructures and also to serve as contributions to researches leading to earthquake prediction; issue advisories and precautionary measures to areas affected by strong earthquake for the welfare of the people thereat;
(d) To coordinate with international organizations in tsunami (seismic sea wave) and typhoon warning dissemination particularly to the coastal regions of the Philippines bound to be affected;
(e) To provide and disseminate the precise standard time of the Philippines; to maintain and operate an adequate satellite tracking and monitoring system especially for weather surveillance and for other astronomical information; to observe, analyze and interpret varied astronomical phenomena and collate observational data for publication and exchange with foreign observatories;
(f) To provide for an adequate communications system for efficient reception and transmission of meteorological, seismic and astronomical reports or information to and from field stations throughout the country and to provide the same for an efficient international communication system for exchange of weather information with other countries are reported from land, sea and air;
(g) To coordinate with other national agencies in pre-disaster and community preparedness planning to minimize losses to lives and property due to natural disasters such as typhoons, floods, earthquakes, and tsunami;
(h) To collect, process, archive, publish, disseminate atmospheric, geophysical and astronomical data for use by agriculture, commerce, industry, the scientific and engineering community, and the general public; and coordinate national activities in meteorological, geophysical and astronomical data problems with the world scientific organizations;
(i) To conduct fundamental and applied research and investigations and experiments needed to achieve advances in applied meteorological, geophysical and astronomical fields in cooperation with the University of the Philippines and other science agencies; and provide the training facilities to meet the country’s need for meteorological, geophysical and astronomical personnel; and
(j) To accept donations in the form of equipment, scholarship awards, sites for stations, buildings, etc., from local and/or foreign sources to promote the objectives of the PAGASA.
Section 4. Major Organizational Units; Powers, Duties, and Functions. – The PAGASA shall be composed of the following major organizational units: National Weather Service, National Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Information Service, and National Institute of Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Sciences.
(a) The National Weather Service shall undertake operational activities pertaining to the observation, moderation, modification and reporting of the weather within the Philippine area of responsibility and issue forecasts and warning of weather and flood conditions affecting national safety, welfare and economy.
(b) The National Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Data Service shall undertake activities concerning the acquisition, collection, quality control, processing and archiving of atmospheric and allied data, to include among others meteorological, seismic, oceanographic and astronomical data and observations and making same available in usable form for the benefit of agriculture, commerce and industry. This service shall also conduct continuing studies of Philippine Climatology, Agrometeorology, Solar Radiation, Wind Effects, or Custiness and other such technological studies vital to national progress.
(c) The National Geophysical and Astronomical Service shall undertake activities or observations and studies of Geophysical and Astronomical phenomena essential for the safety and welfare of the people and also for the economy of the country. The service shall issue bulletins and/or technical advice to the public in case of significant geophysical events like severe earthquakes, and tsunami, and shall also serve as the official time service agency of the Philippines.
(d) The National Institute of Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Sciences shall undertake activities to develop a high level of knowledge in the atmospheric, geophysical and astronomical sciences to provide for an adequate manpower supply of well-trained scientists and technological personnel in the country with respect to these fields. The institute shall also conduct researches in Atmospheric Science (especially) in weather moderation and/or modification among others, in Geophysics and in Astronomy.
Section 5. Administrator, Head of Major Organizational Units, Other Personnel. – The PAGASA shall be headed by an Administrator with a compensation equivalent to that of a class — a Bureau. The Administrator shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines, subject to the confirmation of the Commission on Appointments. He shall hold office during good behavior and shall not be removed therefrom except for cause. He shall be a citizen of the Philippines with proven executive ability who shall have distinguished himself in science and technology: Provided, That no one shall be appointed Administrator who is already holding an appointive or elective position in a concurrent capacity in the Government. Each head of major organizational units of PAGASA shall be a citizen of the Philippines with proven executive ability who shall have achieved distinction in the particular field of National Service.
All subordinate personnel of PAGASA below the rank of head of service or institute shall be appointed by the Administrator upon recommendation of the respective head of service or institute, in accordance with applicable civil service laws and rules.
Section 6. Powers and Duties of the Administrator. – To implement the policies and objectives of the PAGASA as provided for in this Act, the administrator shall have the following functions, duties and powers, among others:
(a) To promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary for the conduct and exercise of the essential functions of the organization;
(b) To exercise supervision and control over all units under the Administration;
(c) To delegate authority for the performance of any function to officers and employees under his direction;
(d) To prescribe the office hours for employees of the PAGASA engaged in meteorological, geophysical, astronomical and other technical work in order to maintain a continuous 24 hours watch as necessary;
(e) When necessary, duty beyond prescribed hours especially during the occurrence of very inclement weather, tropical cyclones, earthquakes, and tsunamis, may be required of any employee in the meteorological, geophysical and astronomical or any of its other services as directed by the Administrator. He may authorize corresponding overtime pay for services in excess of 40 hours a week on the regular rate plus at least twenty-five per centum additional, and provided further that such overtime pay shall be charged against the appropriation for the purpose or from salary savings of the agency;
(f) In order to stimulate keen interest in research work among the scientific personnel of the Agency, a research incentive pay may be authorized by the Administrator in the form of fixed increment amounting to fifteen per cent of the researcher’s monthly salary for each month for a period of one year to the researcher concerned following the completion and publication of his research work: Provided, however, That the award shall be made only after the technical paper is duly presented and defended in a scientific seminar prescribed for by the Administrator;
(g) To provide at government expense compatible with available resources, living quarters for such personnel who by the nature of their duties are to be on call 24 hours a day; and
(h) To submit within sixty days after the close of each fiscal year, an annual report to the Secretary of National Defense.
Section 7. Authority to Procure Scientific Equipment. – Any provision of law and regulation to the contrary notwithstanding, the Administrator is hereby authorized, subject to the approval of the Secretary of National Defense, to conduct sealed bids and/or canvass of the foreign and/or local market without the intervention of the Bureau of Supply Coordination in the procurement of instruments, materials, equipment and supplies of technical and scientific nature from local or foreign manufacturers.
Section 8. Authority to Make Disbursements in Actual Emergency. – Any provision of law and regulation to the contrary notwithstanding, the Administrator is hereby authorized, in case of natural calamities related to the functions of the PAGASA, to disburse an amount not exceeding fifty thousand pesos a month from the funds of the PAGASA appropriated for specified purposes or from savings, without seeking prior authority or approval from any other office. In making such disbursements, the Administrator shall be answerable only to the Secretary of National Defense and the President of the Philippines, and in no case shall said disbursements be made except during an actual real emergency and for strictly official expenditures of the PAGASA.
Section 9. Hazardous Duty Pay During National Calamities. – In case of natural calamities, any officer or employee of the Administration, during the time that he is performing official duties or function involving exposure to personal danger, shall be entitled to additional compensation to be determined by the Administrator and approved by the Secretary of National Defense, exclusive of the usual per diems and other allowances: Provided, That in no case shall the total amount of such additional compensation exceed twenty-five per cent of his annual salary for a period of one year.
Section 10. Appropriations. – The sum of fourteen million pesos is hereby authorized to be appropriated, out of any funds in the National Treasury not otherwise appropriated, in addition to the current budget of the Weather Bureau, to carry into effect the provisions of this Act. Of this amount, ten million pesos shall be used exclusively for the purchase of modern weather equipment to rehabilitate, update, upgrade and replenish the worn out, defective, old and burned facilities; four million pesos shall be for capital outlay, personnel and other operating expenses of the PAGASA.
Section 11. Transfer of Personnel, Property. – The Weather Bureau is hereby abolished. The present personnel, records, assets, liabilities, funds, and unexpended balance of the appropriation of the Weather Bureau shall be transferred to PAGASA. The incumbent Director of the Weather Bureau shall continue to be the Administrator of the PAGASA. In his capacity as Administrator he is authorized to reorganize, subject to the limitations imposed by this Act, the internal organization of the Administration, whenever advisable for purposes of efficiency and economy: Provided, That any major reorganization shall be subject to the approval of the Secretary of National Defense.
Section 12. Repeal of Inconsistent Laws. – All laws, orders, proclamations, rules and regulations, or parts thereof, which are inconsistent with any provision of this Act, are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.
The implementation of the “Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Science Act of 1972” as herein adopted, approved, and decreed shall be carried out effective from date hereof as modification of the Integrated Reorganization Plan under Presidential Decree No. 1.
All concerned shall act accordingly pursuant to the contents of this decree.
Done in the City of Manila, this 8th day of December, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-two.
(Sgd.) FERDINAND E. MARCOS
President of the Philippines
By the President:
(Sgd.) ALEJANDRO MELCHOR
Source: Malacañang Records Office