DOST chief plays down PAGASA brain drain

Posted at 06/09/14 09:42 AM
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MANILA - Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo played down fears of a so-called brain drain in the national weather bureau PAGASA.

On ANC's Headstart, Montejo explained that the starting pay and benefits for PAGASA's meteorologists are among the highest in the public sector.

Montejo added this is comparable even to salaries in private companies.

"We have one of the highest among government workers and it's comparable even to private. P25,000 basic gross plus P10,000 benefits. That's more than P35,000 starting," he said.

Montejo said government is addressing issues of low salary among PAGASA workers as well as making sure there are enough trained weather specialists in the bureau.

Montejo also assured the public the exodus of some forecasters will not affect operations at the agency especially this close to the rainy season.

Twelve meteorologists have left PAGASA to take better-paying jobs abroad since 2010 including two who have resigned this year.

"We have accepted 42 new meteorologists. There are over 140 meteorologists in PAGASA during administration of Arroyo. We have the highest number of meteorologists. It's not really that alarming. Not alarming in the sense that it will not affect the operations of PAGASA," he said.