The lawmakers over the weekend said although the country has a National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, there is no one single agency in charge.
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Lawmakers want centralized disaster department
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - November 4, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate will prioritize the passage of proposals creating a department that will have the full authority and resources to swiftly respond to disasters. 

The lawmakers over the weekend said although the country has a National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, there is no one single agency in charge.

Among those who filed proposals is Senate President Vicente Sotto III, whose Senate Bill 245 seeks to create “an empowered, highly specialized and responsive Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR).” Sen. Christopher Go filed a similar bill, SB 205, calling for a “clear unity of command.” 

Sen. Sonny Angara, who filed SB 331 seeking to create a DDR, said “One (challenge) is the creation of our national fleet of disaster response ships. It is a must in an archipelagic country like ours.”

Senators Francis Pangilinan and Francis Tolentino both filed measures to include a calamity fund, and rehabilitation management programs. 

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto and Senators Grace Poe, Sherwin Gatchalian, Manny Pacquiao and Bong Revilla have also filed similar measures.

Agusan del Norte Rep. Lawrence Fortun also sees the need for the government to establish permanent and no-build danger zones in Mindanao. – With Delon Porcalla

CHRISTOPHER GO VICENTE SOTTO
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