President Benigno S. Aquino III makes a surprise visit to PAGASA head office in Quezon City to personally talk to the protesting workers of the agency. The President, in his briefing with members of the media said that benefits of the workers is being look into.
PAGASA workers are protesting the delayed provision of hazard pay for the undermanned government agency’s dozens of weather forecasters. In the Magna Carta for Scientists or Republic Act No. 8439, PAGASA weather forecasters are entitled to hazard allowances from 10 to 30 percent of their basic monthly salary. However, Agustin said that the government has been slow to implement the law.
However, work won’t stop despite of the strike. The weathermen clarified that they did not intend to disrupt PAGASA’s operations. The workers, wearing black arm bands, conducted their rally during their lunch break on PAGASA grounds.
“Our service will continue no matter what. Kahit nakahiga kami, gagawin namin yung trabaho namin,” said Agustin, despite a supposed lack of assurance from the government of any hazard pay.<
Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a press briefing earlier that “The issue of the hazard pay of our forecasters is already with DBM.”
Valte also added that “Our forecasters have always risen to the occasion. They have never put the public in jeopardy.”
The President also assures the public that their safety would not be compromised.