Duterte proposes changing law requiring reports before declaring state of calamity
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte urged Congress or even the next President on Monday to change or repeal what he called a “stupid” law requiring the assessment reports on disaster areas before a state of calamity could be declared.
Removing that requirement would allow the government to act more swiftly in addressing calamities, Duterte said in his weekly public address that aired late on Monday.
That law, he said, was the reason his declaration of a state of calamity in areas hit by Typhoon Odette was delayed. He had to wait first for the damage assessment of public officials in those areas.
According to him, such a requirement “does not help but rather places a burden” on government officials.
READ: Duterte: ‘Stupid’ protocol of waiting for report delayed state of calamity declaration
“An evaluation and assessment of damage could not be had immediately. That is really silly and that puts a cap on my power to declare a state of calamity,” he said.
“That law should be changed, and it behooves upon this Congress, if they want to — or the next president, may I advise — to try to repeal the law. So that government, [when] there is already a warning will no longer need an assessment,” Duterte added, speaking in a mix of Filipino and English.
From Dec. 16 to 18, Typhoon Odette ravaged several provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao.
As of Saturday morning, the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) said that 367 were reported dead due to Typhoon Odette, while 51 remained missing.
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