Solon hails DU30 push for Disaster Department. PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte received praises from the proponent of Department of Disaster Resilience for urging Congress to pass the proposal at the soonest possible time.
Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas, author of House Bill 2001, thanked President Duterte for seeing the importance of the department especially since the Philippines is highly exposed to natural calamities and hazards.
During his 4th State of the Nation Address, President Duterte asked Congress to immediately pass the bill creating the DDR.
During the 17th Congress, the House of Representatives approved on third and final reading House Bill 8165 which provides for the creation of a Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR), but a counter-measure from the Senate was not approved. In the House it was former Leyte Rep. Yedda Romualdez who principally authored the DDR measure.
“It so happens that this month is National Disaster Resilience Month and I have just filed my disaster resilience department bill which includes a mandate on alertness,” Vargas said.
In House Bill 2001, Vargas is proposing a Disaster Resiliency and Alertness Management (DREAM) Department Bill.
The proposed DREAM Department will be in charge of the inter-governmental coordination from preparation, implementation, monitoring, evaluation of disaster and climate resilience plans, programs and activities.
Once approved the DREAM Department will absorb the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), Office of the Civil Defense and other related bureaus for faster delivery of assistance to the victims, cutting bureaucratic red tape.
“Our country, being highly exposed to natural hazards such as typhoons, earthquakes and climate change, calls for specific approach and action. The brunt of calamities is felt by at least 27.6 million Filipinos, who are among the poorest and marginalized,” Rep. Vargas said.
Several reports indicate that the Philippines is highly exposed to natural hazards such as typhoons, earthquakes and climate change because it lies along the Pacific Typhoon Belt and Pacific Ring of Fire.
Rep. Vargas, a co-author of House Bill 8165, is optimistic that with the new Congress leaders and new members, the DREAM Bill will be given utmost priority.
“With 160 first-termers in the 18th Congress now, they would naturally want to have their say on legislation during committee hearings and plenary debates. But I am hoping the Disaster Resilience Department bill will not encounter delays, especially now that it is certified as urgent by President Duterte,” Vargas said.
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