Zubiri: ‘Odette' heightens need for disaster resilience agency | Inquirer News

Zubiri: ‘Odette’ heightens need for disaster resilience agency

/ 07:38 PM January 04, 2022

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY — Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said the recent experience of Visayas and Mindanao communities reeling from the devastating impact of Typhoon ‘Odette’ has heightened the need for a government department solely focused on building the country’s resilience to disasters.

Zubiri, who visited here recently to distribute relief goods to families affected by the Dec. 16 storm, said having the Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR) could have hastened the preparation as well as the actual response to its aftermath.

“The response was so slow. We wish that it was quicker,” Zubiri told reporters here.


In the wake of the devastating earthquakes that rocked central and southern Mindanao in 2019, Zubiri filed Senate Bill 1139 or the Department of Disaster Resilience Act of 2019.


“We need a go-to department where you can call up one secretary and mobilize the response with haste,” Zubiri said.

But the measure has languished in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

With the DDR, Zubiri said, responding to calamities will be quicker as there will be a single government agency in charge of response, rescue and rehabilitation including the building of disaster-resilient infrastructure.

After going around Visayas and Mindanao, Zubiri has noted the slow-moving delivery of assistance due to protocols, especially in the release of fuel.

“In times of crisis, there should be no red tape, no unnecessary protocols. Stumbling blocks and bottlenecks should be removed during the time of catastrophe,” he said.

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