PAGASA launches simplified weather and climate information materials with US-backed Payong Pagasa

MANILA, March 31, 2015 — On March 23, 2015 the U.S. Embassy Manila’s United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director Gloria D. Steele and Department of Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo participated in the celebration of the 150th Anniversary of PAGASA.

At the event, PAGASA unveiled a series of new tools and information products under the name Payong PAGASA, including the USAID-supported simplified templates for public dissemination of PAGASA materials. Under USAID’s Water Security for Resilient Economic Growth and Stability (Be Secure) project, PAGASA staff redesigned forecast and storm alert announcements to better communicate PAGASA information to key stakeholders and the general public.

A play on the Filipino word “Payong” which means both “advice” and “umbrella”, Payong PAGASA aims to make it easy for the average Filipino to understand the advisories from the agency. With this, PAGASA also launched the official icon of Payong PAGASA named Ella the Umbrella—she will be the visual cue that illustrates the effects of weather and climate change in a simple yet engaging way.

More than a tool to disseminate information, Payong PAGASA is designed to help Filipinos make decisions and take preventative matters to protect their lives and livelihoods.

“We congratulate PAGASA on their 150th Anniversary and are pleased to be here today to support PAGASA’s continual efforts to ensure that all Filipinos are better prepared for and informed about disasters.” said Director Steele.

USAID’s Be Secure Project is a four-year activity that promotes good governance and builds capacity for long-term water security, improves access to water and wastewater treatment services, and builds more resilient communities.#