DENR, DPWH to head new task force for post-typhoon rehab
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will jointly lead a task force intended to fast-track rehabilitation efforts in typhoon-hit areas, Malacañang said Wednesday.
DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu and DPWH Secretary Mark Villar will chair the “Build Back Better Task Force” instead of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea as initially announced by presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.
“In-announce din po kahapon ni Presidente na binuo na po yung task force, may konti pong pagbabago which is based on science. Instead of the Executive Secretary heading the task force, it will now be jointly headed by the Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources, Secretary Cimatu, as well as DPWH Secretary Mark Villar,” Roque said in an interview over CNN Philippines.
(The President announced yesterday that there were changes based on science in the task force being established. Instead of the Executive Secretary heading the task force, it will now be jointly headed by the Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources, Secretary Cimatu, as well as DPWH Secretary Mark Villar.)
“Not only this is based on science, but it also makes sense because when we talk of rehabilitation, we talk basically of roads and bridges and buildings destroyed which is the turf of the DPWH and you also talk about the scientific reasons why we have typhoons of this nature which is climate change and that is the rationale for the DENR co-heading the task force,” he added.
Duterte ordered the creation of the task force for rehabilitation after the country was recently hit by strong back-to-back typhoons—Rolly and Ulysses.
The creation of the task force was met with criticism as some pointed out that the government already has a National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). But Roque earlier appealed to give the plan a chance.
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Ulysses pounded parts of Luzon like Metro Manila and the Bicol region that had barely recovered yet from the onslaught of Super Typhoon Rolly earlier this month.