Is ‘Mr. Typhoon’ willing to becompensated for his service?
By Mark A. Gomez
“Of course yes.”
This was the response of Mike Padua otherwise known as “Mr. Typhoon” when asked if he was willing to be compensated for his voluntary efforts in providing the public updated reports about typhoons and weather disturbances.
In an online interview last Sunday, Nov. 8 with Bicol Mail, Padua expressed readiness to be compensated for his efforts, provided there are no strings attached and as long as it is for the sake of public service.
Padua, a well-known amateur meteorologist and a recipient of various prominent awards (Naga City Mayoral Award and Gawad Geny Lopez Award), started his passion when he was nine years old.
He took up BS Geography at University of the Philippines and started his career as a director of the Naga College Foundation’s (NCF) Typhoon Preparedness Center in 2009 under the Weather Philippines Station. He also worked hand in hand with some international weather organizations.
Despite of these recognitions, no group or local government unit has given Padua any material or monetary reward or assistance for his valuable service.
COMMENDATION David Michael Padua (Center) alias Mr. Typhoon receives from Mayor Nelson Legacion the framed copy of Sangguniang Panglunsod Resolution No. 2020-366 commending him for his important service to the city in terms of delivering useful information regarding typhoons and weather disturbance, which helps the city government in disaster preparations. Also in photo is Vice Mayor Nene de Asis.
He said that he used his own money to buy all the equipment he uses in order to come up with accurate weather forecast.
The last time he received monetary help was way back 2006, when his weather station was damaged by Typhoon Reming, he said.
Unknown to all, Padua also spends his own money for the operation of his weather station.
Mr. Typhoon said that the government has a lot of shortcomings in terms of typhoon preparedness. He said that there are: no knowledgeable weather forecaster in every town, city and municipality; no government agency that is solely focus on typhoons; no communication lines; and no proper typhoon warning system in every city and municipality.
Padua, sometimes also encounters cat calls from government weather forecasters, presumably due to professional jealousy.