Palace transmits to Congress bill creating Department of Disaster Resilience
Malacanang has sent to both Houses of Congress a proposed measure creating the Department of Disaster Resilience.
In a press briefing on Tuesday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office transmitted Monday to the Office of Senate President and the House Speaker the administration's version of the bill creating the DDR.
"The bill is anchored on government’s experience with previous disasters; among them super typhoon Yolanda. And guided by President Duterte’s leadership principles, the bill is envisioned to have a sole focus on natural hazards and disasters; it shall be guided by disaster resilience framework that will deliver on three key areas: disaster risk reduction, disaster preparedness and response, and recovery and building forward better," he said.
Some 6,300 individuals were reported dead and over 1,000 others were missing when Yolanda struck most parts of the country, with the center of the typhoon in Visayas region, in November 2013.
Roque said the bill was a product of interagency work, building on the salient points of the pending bills in Congress.
"Once passed into law, the creation of the department will be a significant step towards attaining safe, adoptive and disaster resilient communities by leading efforts to reduce the risk of natural hazards and the effects of climate change," Roque said.
Once the bill is passed into law, this would mean that the interagency National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council would be dissolved.
Roque said Duterte wants only one person to be in charge whenever a disaster or calamity hits the country.
"Although inevitably, there will have to be interagency work because the line agencies do still have their mandates. But there will be one person calling the shots in case of disasters," he said.
Under the current set up, NDRRMC is headed by the secretary of the Department of National Defense, with the secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government as vice chairperson for disaster preparedness, secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development as vice chairperson for disaster response, secretary of the Department of Science and Technology as vice chairperson for disaster prevention and mitigation, and director-general of the National Economic and Development Authority as vice chairperson for disaster rehabilitation and recovery. Celerina Monte/DMS