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Trillanes pushes bill creating NDRRMC replacement

Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - December 15, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV has pushed for the approval of Senate Bill 819, which seeks to establish an emergency management agency (EMA) to replace the existing National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

In a hearing by the Senate committee on national defense and security, chaired by Trillanes, the senator said Republic Act 10121 or the law that created the NDRRMC has its own share of problems.

“Being under the Department of National Defense, it allocates funds from the small budget slice of DND,” Trilanes, a former Navy officer, said.

He also said that under the current setup, the DND secretary serves as the head of NDRRMC “but because of the full-time demand of national defense, he can only focus on the NDRRMC during calamities.”

Under the bill, the proposed EMA will be directly under the Office of the President, enabling it to use more resources and initiate stronger policy actions.  

“Unlike the NDRRMC, which is limited to natural calamities, EMA defines national emergency situations to include man-made disasters like fire and disease outbreak,” Trillanes said.

The EMA shall cover all aspects of emergency situations and will be in charge of formulating policies to reduce risk of disasters, mitigate damage to life and property, initiate rapid and effective response to disasters, and effectively manage post-disaster recovery, he said.

The agency will also be tasked to develop a comprehensive national emergency and disaster preparedness plan.

“Our country, being vulnerable to all sorts of calamities and emergencies, demands that we elevate our disaster preparedness and mitigation response mechanism by creating a permanent, full-time agency such as EMA,” Trillanes said.

Senate President Franklin Drilon and Sen. Loren Legarda have separately recommended the creation of an agency similar to the United States’ Federal Emergency Management Agency in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda.

ANTONIO TRILLANES DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENSE DRILON AND SEN FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY LOREN LEGARDA NATIONAL DISASTER RISK REDUCTION AND MANAGEMENT COUNCIL OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT REPUBLIC ACT SENATE BILL TRILLANES
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