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Go to fast-track disaster resilience bill

SENATOR Christopher Lawrence Go reiterated he wants to fast-track Senate Bill 188 amid recent calamities that hit the country.

Senate Bill 188 seeks to establish a new government Department on Disaster Resilience (DDR) to prioritize a systematic approach for disaster preparedness enhancement.

Go filed Senate Bill 205 in the 18th Congress in July 2019, but refiled it as Senate Bill 188 in the 19th Congress in 2022.

“Natural disasters have the capability to cause such far-reaching and impactful consequences that it has become clear that a comprehensive, specialized, and focused approach is the only way to move forward from the effects of natural disasters,” the explanatory note of the bill reads.

As the principal author of the legislation, Go recognized the contribution of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in providing a multi-sectoral, inter-agency approach, however, he noted creating a body consisting of multiple offices was not the best approach.

Kung mayroon tayong isang departamentong nakatutok bago dumating ang bagyo, a cabinet secretary level na departamento, siya na ang makipag-coordinate on preposition of goods with DSWD, with uniformed personnel para ilikas ang mga kababayan natin sa ligtas na lugar, LGUs,” Go told the media in a sideline interview on the 5th anniversary of the National Integrated Cancer Control Act at SMX convention, Feb. 15.

The lawmaker added there is a need for a department, not a task force, as the latter is usually dismantled after every administration.

The department will concentrate on three areas: disaster risk reduction, disaster preparedness and response, and recovery and better building progress. It will provide a clear chain of command as it is led by a cabinet secretary.

DDR is authorized to exercise emergency powers to provide a timely response during and aftermath of disasters and “unavoidable consequences.”

Recovery efforts will be guided by internationally accepted standards by the principle of “Building-Forward-Better.” 

Also under the bill is the provision of remedial measures under a state of calamity such as imposition of price ceiling on necessities and commodities, reprogramming of funds for repair of critical public infrastructures, and grant of no-interest loans by government lending institutions to the most vulnerable groups.

Go is positive the creation of the department will be realized taking into account the creation of the department of migrant workers which is solely dedicated to attending to the needs of overseas Filipino workers. 



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