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Lacson seeks creation of permanent disaster rehabilitation agency

Bebot Sison Jr., Cecille Suerte Felipe - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson is proposing the creation of a permanent government agency to handle rehabilitation and recovery operations in areas hit by disasters.

Lacson also confirmed that he submitted to President Aquino last Friday his irrevocable resignation as head of the Office of the Presidential Assistant on Rehabilitation and Recovery (OPARR) effective Feb. 10, 2015, in time for the revision of Republic Act 10121 or the act strengthening national disaster risk reduction and management system.

“The bottom line is, we are a transition body and inevitably, we will have to fold tent down the road. I think it is wise to allot enough time for the permanent agency to take on the functions of OPARR,” Lacson said in an interview over dzMM.

He noted that OPARR’s mandate only covers the rehabilitation of areas devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda last year. So after Typhoon Ruby, people asked if OPARR would also extend its rehabilitation efforts to those affected by the recent storm.

“I have made some recommendations to the President when I submitted the OPARR report. After Typhoon Ruby hit the areas devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda, there is a need to have a permanent government agency that will focus on the rehabilitation of areas affected by storms because typhoons always hit the country,” he explained.

A study shows that the Philippines is hit by an average of 20 typhoons per year. Each year, typhoons and monsoon rains cause landslides, flooding and other devastating effects on communities all over the country.

Lacson noted that at present, the government is only creating an ad hoc office whenever a typhoon lashes parts of the country.

Lacson is working for the turnover of the mandate of OPARR to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, a government agency in charge of disaster mitigation. He said there could be a one-month transition period that should start in January.

 

AFTER TYPHOON RUBY

FEB

LACSON

NATIONAL DISASTER RISK REDUCTION AND MANAGEMENT COUNCIL

OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENTIAL ASSISTANT

PANFILO LACSON

PRESIDENT AQUINO

REHABILITATION AND RECOVERY

REPUBLIC ACT

SUPER TYPHOON YOLANDA

TYPHOON RUBY

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