Bongbong Marcos issues EO forming disaster response task force
MANILA, Philippines — An executive order (EO) that would create a task force on disaster response has been signed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said.
In a statement on Monday, the PCO said that Marcos signed EO No. 24 last April 30, creating the Disaster Response and Crisis Management Task Force that will ensure that there is a clear command structure in “government efforts in confronting challenges brought about by natural disasters through evidence- and science-based approach in crisis management.”
The following offices/departments would be part of the said task force:
- Office of the Executive Secretary
- Department of National Defense (DND)
- Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)
- Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
- Department of Health (DOH)
- Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
- Department of Science and Technology (DOST)
- Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)
- Department of Transportation (DOTr)
- Office of Civil Defense (OCD)
“Under the EO, which takes effect immediately, the President will designate the task force’s chairperson and vice chairperson from among its members, with the member agencies also designating senior officials to act as their representatives to the task force,” PCO said.
“Among the task force’s functions include overseeing and coordinating preparation, monitoring, and evaluation of disaster risk management (DRRM) plans and programs on disaster preparedness and response, as well as providing leadership in developing approaches to disaster prevention, mitigation, and response,” PCO added.
The EO also asked that quick response groups be created, supported by national and local units, and deployed before, during, and after a disaster.
Funding for the task force would come from the existing appropriations of the task force’s member agencies, including other funding sources that may be identified by the Department of Budget and Management.
“It is also tasked to collaborate with relevant government agencies and local governments, ensure an integrated approach in disaster preparedness and response, and deliver accessible assistance programs to affected communities,” PCO said.
“The task force is mandated to establish a calibrated national disaster mobilization system, exercise oversight powers over government agencies with relevant mandates on disaster preparedness and response, and engage the assistance of consultants, experts, and professional advisors,” it added.
In the first months of Marcos’ presidency, several talks about whether the country needed a new body or department to replace the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) — especially after the Western Luzon earthquake rocked parts of Abra showed the need for a quicker response.
Marcos said that he thinks a body would be enough — agreeing with his sister, Senator Imee Marcos, that a new department might mean more expenses to the government.