Senator Francis Tolentino said that having a more comprehensive and easy to understand weather forecast will somehow help lessen casualties during times of calamities brought by severe weather conditions.

Tolentino made the remarks as the country remembers the lives lost during the ill-fated devastation of Super Typhoon Yolanda (International codename: Haiyan) exactly nine years ago.

According to the legislator, the use of technical terms — although standard practice in the scientific and academic community — by the state weather bureau PAGASA during its weather forecasts has made it difficult for ordinary citizens and even local government officials to understand these terms and grasp their underlying concepts. It’s about time that they are made more accessible to the layman and their understanding more widespread.

“‘Yung wikang Ingles kasi, sa mga scientist lang ‘yon eh.”

“Siguro sa PAGASA baguhin na ‘yung lenggwahe nila – baguhin na para maintindihan ng ating mga kababayan… halimbawa: ganitong oras, one hundred-fifty thousand drums ang babagsak — walang ganon eh. ‘Yung wikang Ingles kasi, sa mga scientist lang ‘yon eh. Dapat malaman ng ating mga ordinaryong kababayan,” the lawmaker explained.

The senator cited the incident days prior to the impact of Yolanda in November 2013, in which the people of Tacloban City and other provinces in the Eastern Visayas Region failed to prepare for the anticipated giant storm surge since the said terminology wasn’t explained properly using layman’s language.

The tsunami-like surge has led to the death of more than 5,000 individuals in Region 8 alone.

The former chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) personally witnessed the catastrophic devastation of Yolanda in Tacloban City, being one of the first responders after the typhoon’s deadly onslaught.

“Important ‘yung communication every time there’s a severe weather condition.”

He added that the reported multiple casualties in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) due to massive flashfloods brought by Tropical Storm Paeng could have been avoided if the rain fall warning alert system has been properly explained to its residents.

“Equally important ‘yung communication every time there’s a severe weather condition – the information being disseminated, as well as the choice of language so that people can easily understand it,” Tolentino explained.



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