Red tape delaying Doppler radar acquisition for Cebu
() - July 14, 2008 - 12:00am

The Doppler radar intended for Cebu, which is seen to effectively enhance weather forecasting in the region, may take some time to be installed after officials in Manila are still opting for other ways of procurement.

According to reports, Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration national administrator Frisco Nilo said in one of the Board of Marine Inquiry hearings that the installation of eight Doppler Radars in the country, including the one for Mactan, Cebu, were put on hold because of the failure of the Department of Budget and Management to act on their request for negotiated procurement.

Nilo said, after four failed biddings since the bidders did not meet the requirements, they asked Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya Jr. to permit them to resort to procurement negotiation which was allegedly denied.

But in one of the BMI’s hearings  Andaya said he never received any request, though he is aware that a negotiated procurement is the next resort after failed biddings.

Andaya even claimed that it was PAG-ASA who insisted on canceling the fifth bidding recently and so his agency should not be blamed as to why the Doppler radars are not yet in place.

Nilo was sued by Sulpicio Lines Inc. for failing to provide up-to-date weather bulletins at the height of Typhoon Frank and eventually sank the M/V Princess of the Stars.

Nilo reasoned out that they cannot issue weather bulletins every three hours due to the lack of radars.

President Gloria Arroyo ordered the immediate installation of eight Doppler radars in the country to be put up also in the provinces of Surigao del Sur, South Cotabato, Catanduanes, Eastern Samar and in Tagaytay.

A Doppler radar is a key forecasting tool whose idea came from Austrian scientist Christian Doppler discovered in 1842.

Doppler worked out his ideas using sound waves, long before radio, much less radar, was invented.  Ferliza C. Contratista/BRP

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