July 16, 2019 - Tuesday
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Davao City, Philippines

Go files bill creating Department of Disaster Resilience

July 10, 2019 - Wednesday 11:07 AM by MDM

Children affected by fire welcome Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go who arrived to deliver aid.

Aiming to consolidate and improve all government efforts to handle disasters, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has filed a bill that seeks to create a Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR).

Go said he is eyeing to have an empowered, highly specialized department with clear unity of command and primarily responsible in ensuring safe, adaptive and disaster-resilient communities.  

The department will concentrate on three key result areas: disaster risk reduction, disaster preparedness and response, and recovery and building forward better.  

Sa pagpapatayo ng departamentong ito, mas magiging mabilis ang pagtugon ng pamahalaan, mas maibsan ang masamang epekto ng kalamidad para mas mabilis makabangon ang ating mga kababayan pagkatapos ng mga di inaasahang sakuna,” Go said.

(This department will hasten the government's response and will help ease the effects of calamiities so that our citizens can more quickly recover then disaster strikes.)

Go said he has seen the plight of ordinary Filipinos during his visits to communities victimized by fire incidents and natural calamities.

Kasama sa proseso ng paggawa ng mga batas ang pagbisita ko sa mga komunidad. Dito ko nakikita ang tunay na kalagayan ng mga tao at dito rin namin nalalaman kung ano ang kanilang mga hinaing na dapat aksyunan ng gobyerno ora mismo,” he said.

(My visits to the communities is part of the process of creating laws. This is where I see the real situation of our people, and this is how I know what they need that government needs to respond to immediately.)

The bill is intended to repeal the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, which created the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDDRMC) and mandated the Office of Civil Defense, an organization within the Department of National Defense, to be the council’s secretariat and coordinating arm.

Disaster-related responsibilities are currently shared among various government agencies. The bill states that the DDR will be assigned to “be primarily responsible for ensuring safe, adaptive, and disaster-resilient communities.” 

Go said he was prompted to file the bill because “the Philippines’ experiences with natural disasters... have shown that the existing laws, policies, resources, and institutional arrangements governing disaster management lacked responsiveness to the country's requirements for disaster resilience.”

In an interview after he filed the bill, Go said he was hoping the efforts in improving disaster resilience in the country would also lead to construction of better evacuation centers.

Marami pong nangyayaring mga bagyo sa atin, mga lindol, at minsan po talaga wala tayong maayos na evacuation center at coordination,” he said.

(Our country experiences numerous typhoons and earthquakes, and sometimes we don't have proper evacuation centers and coordination.)