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Weathermen seek apology

A group of weathermen yesterday asked the producers of a television network to issue a public apology as it decried the apparent “insult” inflicted to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration in a children’s gag show.

The Philippine Weathermen Employees Association noted that in the November 13 episode of Goin’ Bulilit, the children were asked the acronyms of some government agencies.

As a joke, the children responded with different meaning of the offices. When asked for the meaning of PAGASA, the child replied, “Palaging Guess at Alang Saktong Announcement.”

“Our dear office was portrayed as an agency not worthy of public trust,” PWEA president Ramon Agustin said.

“The Palaging Guess line broke the hearts of my fellow weathermen as it implied that weather forecasts are made through wild guesses or simply as a hit or miss job. This is a joke that truly hurts us. The efforts and sacrifices of every weatherman to provide our countrymen with the best expertise to carry out our noble mission we feel were disrespected in exchange for unwarranted laughter,” Agustin explained.

“It did not only damage PAGASA’s reputation but also put public safety at risk as it is sending the wrong signal that the agency’s forecasts are not reliable therefore not worth believing,” he added.

On the “Alang Sakto Announcement” line, “the script implied that PAGASA is responsible for the suspension of work and classes which is not,” Agustin said.

Agustin pointed out that for two consecutive years, PAGASA was cited by the prestigious Makati Business Club as number four in the list of top performing government agencies in the country.

“In this issue, we are not sensitive or onion-skinned but rather we are only after protecting our countrymen who rely on PAGASA’s credibility as a warning agency,” he said. (Ellalyn B. de Vera)