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Disaster Resilience Department bill’s OK seen before Christmas break

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 12:08 PM November 04, 2019

MANILA,  Philippines— There is  a big chance that a bill  proposing the creation of the Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR) would  be approved before Congress  goes on  Christmas break next month.

Senate  President  Vicente  Sotto  III raised this  possibility  on Monday as he underscored its  importance amid a series of disasters that recently hit parts of  the  country.

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Sotto, one of the authors of the proposed measure  in the Senate,  believes that its approval is long over due.

“Ang national disaster, hindi nakakapaghintay (National disasters can’t wait),” he said over DZMM.

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Asked  about the bill’s chance of  getting approved before the Christmas break on December 20, the Senate leader said: “A very big chance, talagang kailangang-kailangan (this is really necessary).

“Malaki ang posibilidad, at malaki rin ang posibilidad na mapirmahan ng Presidente ito (There’s a big possibility, and a big possibility also  that  this would be signed by the President)”, Sotto said.

Under his Senate  Bill No. 245,  the DDR would  become the  primary government institution tasked  to ensure “safe, adaptive, and disaster-resilient communities.”

“Unlike the existing institutional arrangement that encompasses the very wide range of both natural and human-induced disasters, the Department shall focus on natural hazards and climate change,” Sotto said in the bill’s explanatory note.

A key feature of this measure   is  a “clear system of responsibility for disaster preparedness and response classified into four levels – from Levels 1 to 4 or from the municipal/city mayor all the way up to the Secretary of Disaster Resilience.”

“This directly answers the oft-repeated question in times of disaster: Who is in charge?”  he said.

“This system of assigning levels of responsibility is aimed at ensuring unity of command and effective collaboration in the country’s disaster resilience efforts,”  he pointed out. /gsg

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TAGS: Department of Disaster Resilience, Legislation, Philippines, Senate, Vicente “Tito”
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