The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, commonly known as PAGASA, is the country’s official meteorological and hydrological services provider—which means that the bureau is more than just about the weather. Read on to discover what other things PAGASA busies itself with.

PAGASA studies heavenly bodies. Astronomical events such as the blue moon, falling stars, and lunar and solar eclipses, offer us an extravagant show in the sky. To let us know when we can enjoy these heavenly displays, PAGASA has a pool of astronomers that closely monitor such events. The bureau’s astronomy divisions is located at the PAGASA Science Garden in Quezon City and at the University of the Philippines Diliman Observatory, where the public can observe the stars and planets.

PAGASA is the country’s official timekeeper. The Philippine Standard Time (PhST) is also one of PAGASA’s services. For meteorologists, this allows accurate documentation of the atmosphere at certain time frames, which serve as the initial basis of forecasting weather and floods. For seismologists, PhST helps in determining the epicenter of an earthquake. Under Presidential Decree 1149, PAGASA was declared as the official agency to disseminate PhST.

PAGASA takes part in nation-building. By being immersed in climatological studies, PAGASA helps in creating sustainable projects by providing both public and private sectors information that will enhance the country’s capability to adapt to environmental changes. It also conducts regular Information and Education Campaigns (IEC) in Local Government Units and the academe for disaster preparedness.

PAGASA has specific weather forecasts. Aside from the 24-hour public weather forecasts disseminated to the public, PAGASA also caters to specific clients, such as farmers and fishermen. Its Farm Weather Forecast gives details on what temperatures should be expected in upland and lowland farms, as well as the range of relative humidity and leaf wetness which helps in maintaining the quality of crops. Meanwhile, its Shipping Forecast provides information regarding the maritime safety, providing gale warnings that notify fishermen and other maritime services of sea conditions.

PAGASA is everywhere. The weather bureau has 58 synoptic stations, 23 agromet stations, 10 radar station and 7 upper air stations planted throughout the archipelago. Each of these stations has different instruments used to measure temperature, atmospheric pressure, wind speed, wind direction, humidity and the amount of rainfall over the area. All these daily weather observations are then transmitted to PAGASA’s Weather and Flood Forecasting Center in Quezon City.

With all these responsibilities under its belt, PAGASA strives to continue to live up to its acronym—giving hope to the nation in different ways: helping the public prepare for weather changes, assisting the country’s backbone workforce, and telling us when we can lie on our backs and wish on stars that streak across the night sky.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration or PAGASA, one of the agencies under the Department of Science and Technology, is one of the top 5 best performing government agencies and offices in the country, according to a survey by the Makati Business Club (MBC).

This was announced in a press statement issued by the MBC last August 11, 2014.

MBC’s Second Semester Executive Outlook Survey, conducted from July 1-25, 2014, rated the performance of 62 government agencies and offices for the period July 2013-July 2014. Out of these 62 agencies, 43 garnered positive net satisfaction ratings from MBC members composed of senior business executives from the Philippines’ largest corporations.

PAGASA joins this list of top performers for the first time, posting a score of 72.3 to claim the fourth spot overall.  Of those surveyed, 84.6 percent said they were satisfied with the weather bureau’s performance while 12.3 percent claimed they were not satisfied.

MBC cited the country’s official weather bureau in particular, for its improvement in disseminating accurate weather forecasts to the public.Through its partnership with Panahon TV,  produced by Ube Media, Inc. and aired on the People’s Television, PAGASA is able to deliver daily forecasts on television, making weather information more readily available.

Daily weather forecasts are also released daily through Panahon TV’s social networks on Facebook and Twitter, currently being followed not only by individuals, but also by other government agencies.

Recently, Panahon TV has beefed up content on its official website (www.panahon.tv) with daily feature articles and infographics that touch on weather-related topics such as disaster preparedness, the environment, and personal safety.

The circle of 5 best-performing government agencies also includes the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas which is the frontrunner in the list, Department of Tourism which ranks second, Philippine Economic Zone Authority which ranks third, and the Securities and Exchange Commission on fifth spot.

Rounding up the top 10 list are the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Health, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Department of Finance, and the Philippine Statistics Authority.

Founded in 1981, MBC is committed in the promotion of the business sector’s role in national development and in addressing social and economic issues affecting the Philippines.  (With report from S&T Media Service)