International Disaster Response Law pushedBy Fat Reyes
MANILA, Philippines–Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Chairman Richard Gordon on Tuesday stressed the need for an International Disaster Response Law (IDRL), saying a regulatory framework will speed up the process of delivering international humanitarian assistance in times of disasters.
“We are trying to create a legal framework, a regulatory framework para pag may disaster na malalaki, mas mabilis yung pag-facilitate ng goods. The object is speed in terms of delivery of humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable,” Gordon said in an interview before the start of the workshop on IDRL conducted by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), PRC, and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) at the DFA.
Gordon said the workshop is aimed at familiarizing stakeholders with the core concepts of IDRL as well as assisting the Philippines to be a model in terms of creating an international disaster response environment, legal and regulatory.
Gordon said representatives from all the government-agencies and stakeholders concerned with the IDRL, including the Department of Finance, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Department of Finance, PAGASA, and DILG, would attend the workshop.
Gordon also stressed that a regulatory framework would mitigate the facilitation of goods as well as avoid unnecessary delays involving “dumped” goods.
Selvaratnam Sinnadurai, IFRC country representative, said that one of the end goals of the workshop was to come up with a document which would serve as reference for guidelines in humanitarian assistance in times of disasters.
“Unless there is a document regulating all these assistance it would be difficult for different departments to know what is the legal framework,” Sinnadurai said.
He said a task force would be set-up to review all existing laws within the various departments and come up with the guidelines. He said this would help the DFA and all embassies when disasters come.
“With these rules, all the people in government would know how to do it properly,” Gordon added.