PAGASA chief Servando resigns

June 19, 2013 11:00 pm 

By Lloyd Caliwan

MANILA, June 19 (PNA) –- After 21 years in service, the state weather bureau chief Wednesday formally resigned from his post, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration confirmed.

Dr. Nathaniel Servando, administrator of the PAGASA, age 48, also informed Science and Technology Secretary Mario G. Montejo of his intention to leave the agency.

He also already told the bureau’s officer in charge Dr. Vicente B. Malano of his filing via text message.

In a press conference at the PAGASA office, Malano confirmed the optional or early retirement and resignation of Servando after taking a leave since March 22.

“Yes, that is a confirmation of Servando’s resignation. On Tuesday night, he texted me, Dr. Flaviano Hilario and Noy (Catalino Davis) to break his silence about his resignation,” he told reporters.

Hilario is the acting deputy administrator of PAGASA’s research and development department, while Davis is the acting deputy administrator for administration and engineering services.

“This is to inform you that I have officially resigned and retired at PAGASA. Na-submit ko na ang resignation letter ko (kay Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo). Thanks for your support. Mami-miss ko kayo,” Servando’s text message read.

“He (Servando) is very secretive. We only learned about his leave from Dr. Hilario,” Malano said.

Serving as one Servando’s two deputies, Malano added the PAGASA administrator thanked him for the support they have shown him during his stewardship in PAGASA.

“He opted to have less stress at work with a higher salary,” he added

He said Servando took a leave for health reason because of his hypertension, but they later found out that he will be working abroad to be able to send his children to school could be receiving “three times, five times or eight times” higher than his basic salary teaching college students in Qatar, the Middle East.

“We cannot just control people to leave the bureau for greener pastures. The salary rate abroad (for a meteorologist) is three times, five times or eight times higher than our monthly salary rate of P68,000 as Pagasa chief,” he said.

According to Malano, he is receiving a monthly wage of P64,000 as deputy administrator, while a forecaster with a salary grade of 17, such as Cris Perez, is paid a monthly salary of about P25,000.

Senior forecasters, such as Rene Paciente and Robert Sawi, get a take-home pay of P50,000 a month, he said.

Malano also expressed regret that PAGASA will be losing another expert, who is one of only a dozen personnel in the state weather bureau that holds a doctorate in meteorology.

But the PAGASA officer-in-charge assured Servando’s departure will not affect their agency’s operation especially during the height of the rainy season.

“With or without him (Servando), PAGASA will continue to serve the public. Employees come and go.”

“Hindi naman kami magkakaron ng disruption (sa operations) kasi nag-file naman siya ng leave nung March 22 pa,” Malano said.

“Three months na rin syang wala. Ayos naman ang operations ng PAGASA bago pa may pumasok na bagyo,” he added.

PAGASA has hired 28 meteorologists over the past two years, he said, adding they have 30 scholars pursuing a masteral degree in meteorology right inside the agency’s main office.

“Of these scholars, six are foreigners and 10 of them have already finished their thesis (and could be able to start work). One (Servando) has left against the total workforce of 37 people in the forecasting division,” Malano said.

He vowed not to migrate for work, and to stay and serve the bureau the rest of his career.

“I have been with PAGASA for 31 years. My wife had asked me to go abroad, but I said no,” he said.

In another development, PAGASA is requesting P800 million for the acquisition of five radars, a mobile radar, 29 closed-circuit television units and 1,000 sensors to automate data sending of weather information. (PNA)



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