All weather stations for Cebu, C. Visayas

Posted on September 21, 2012

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Mark Vornhusen, SVP of Meteomedia (left) gives a briefing on the all-weather instrument before turning it over to Cebu officials.Also in the group are (from left) Celso Caballero III general manager Weather Philippines Foundation, host Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes, Sebastian Lacson, VECO SVP and COO and Mary Yvette Yap, deputy executive director for policy programs and projects, League of Cities of the Philippines.(TONEE DESPOJO)

ABOUT 1,000 all weather stations (AWS) are planned to be installed in 13 local government units (LGUs) including six in Cebu within two years to help provide immediate local weather information.

The Weather Philippines Foundation, Inc., a non-profit corporation formed by Aboitiz Power, Unionbank and Meteomedia, will provide these instruments to LGUs to help reduce the risks posed by floods and other calamities.

The weather device costs US $2,500 each.

About P50,000 will be spent for their maintenanc, said Celso Caballero III, general manager of the foundation.

“They just have to log on to the weather portal (weather.com.ph) to access the seven-days weather forecast in three-hour intervals. The AWS would also provide localized forecasts,” Caballero added.

He said Aboitiz Power and Unionbank each paid half of the $2.9 million for the program.

This program will complement and not comppete with the state weather bureau Pagasa.

Other private organizations expressed interest to join the project as donors and partners. ICTSI, Vista Land, Nickel Asia, NGCP, Tan Yan Kee Foundation, and SM – donated $3 million or $500,000 each for the project” Caballero said.

Beneficiary LGUs in Cebu include the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, Talisay, Danao and Toledo while the cities of Tagbilaran, Tacloban, Ormoc and Dumaguete and the towns of Maasin and Calbayog all received their AWS.

“These AWS can help us give advance information to people especially those living near riverbanks. It can also enable Pagasa and other weather stations to monitor weather outlook in these low-lying areas,” Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes said.

Ethel Natera, corporate communication manager of the Visayan Electric Co. (Veco), said the system can help them prepare contingency measures to adapt to weather changes ahead of time.

“With the AWS, we can make an earlier plan to ensure a steady power supply to consumers,” Natera said. About 400 AWS are targeted for installation in ports and cities nationwide by the end of December this year.

Of this number, about 150 weather stations were already installed.

Caballero said LGUs will secure and provide minor maintenance for the AWS. The major maintenance work will be done by the foundation. /Joy Cherry Quito and Fe Marie Dumaboc, Correspondents

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