Sen. Bong Go meets with families affected by Typhoon Tisoy.
Go pushes for disaster resilience deparment to be certified as urgent
Robertzon Ramirez (The Philippine Star) - December 8, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go yesterday urged his colleagues in the Senate and the House of Representatives to expedite the passage of a measure providing for the creation of a Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR).

“The DDR should be passed immediately. I urge my colleagues at the Senate and the House to speed up the passage of the bill so that the President could certify it as urgent,” Go said in Filipino during his visit to the victims of Typhoon Tisoy in Daraga, Albay.

The senator also distributed relief and financial assistance to 150 families affected by the typhoon.

Calamities such as earthquakes and powerful typhoons frequently occur in the country and the DRR is urgently needed, he said, adding that the measure has been taken up in the Senate on a committee level.

He stressed that the country’s geographic location makes it prone to natural disasters, hence the need for government to be more responsive in mitigating the impact of natural occurrences through the DDR.

The senator filed in July Senate Bill 205 or the Department of Disaster Resilience Act of 2019, which proposes the creation of the DDR, “an empowered, highly specialized department with clear unity of command and primarily responsible in ensuring safe, adaptive and disaster-resilient communities.”

The bill seeks to establish a clear system of responsibility for disaster preparedness and response in all levels of the government, given the increasing number of devastation brought about by various disasters.

Through the proposed measure, the existing Disaster Risk Reduction and Management offices will be renamed as Local Disaster Resilience Offices.

A Disaster Resilience Fund will also be established to finance DDR’s operations, disaster risk reduction, disaster preparedness, response, recovery, rehabilitation and building forward better programs, projects and activities formulated in the national level.

The National Disaster Operations Center will be established, with its corresponding Alternative Command and Control Centers, while a Disaster Resilience Research and Training Institute will also be created to provide training and collect, consolidate, manage and share knowledge and information resources to boost disaster resilience.

Currently, disaster-related responsibilities are shared among various government agencies

In an interview during his visit in Albay, the senator added that the bill will provide for the creation of permanent evacuation centers all over the country equipped with features to ensure safety and comfort for evacuees.

“Isa rin po sa aking mga isinusulong ang pagtatayo ng permanent evacuation centers kapag may nasusunog o earthquake. Para may maayos silang paglalagyan habang hindi pa sila nakakauwi sa kanilang pamamahay,” Go added.

The senator also distributed relief and financial assistance to 150 families affected by the typhoon.

 Go also said that he and the local government will replace the school supplies and uniforms of children who lost theirs in the disaster so they can immediately resume schooling.

“May dala po akong konting grocery items at ako na rin po ang bibili ng uniporme ng mga bata para makapabalik agad sila sa kanilang pag-aaral,” Go said.

During his visit, Go was also joined by representatives from concerned government agencies, such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the local Social Welfare and Development office, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the National Housing Authority (NHA) to provide additional assistance to the victims.

“Nandito rin po ang iba’t ibang ahensya ng gobyerno para magbigay ng tulong kaagad tulad ng DSWD may programa tayo. Ang NHA naman po, may programa rin tayo. Ang PAGCOR at PCSO, bibigyan din sila ng financial assistance. Ang iba’t ibang ahensya ng gobyerno, kanya kanyang tulong sa mga biktima including DTI, may livelihood assistance,” Go said, also mentioning that President Rodrigo Duterte has issued a directive for the creation of housing units in the region.

As for areas experiencing electricity loss, Go said that he will talk to Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi for the immediate restoration of power supply.

“I will talk to Seretary Cusi kung pwede mabalik kaagad sa normal. Titingnan muna natin kung mayroon talagang nasirang mga linya. Talagang napakalakas ng bagyo,” he said.

Go also reiterated the directives of President Rodrigo Duterte during their earlier visit to Albay last Thursday for the Department of Education to start immediate repair of damaged classrooms, the Department of Public Works and Highways to restore damaged road sections and bridges, the Department of Energy to continue restoration of power supply, and the Department of Information and Communication Technology to  immediately restore communication systems.

Typhoon Tisoy, internationally known as Typhoon Kammuri, hit the Bicol region on December 2, leaving 12 people dead and an estimated economic damage worth PhP 811 million, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

After his visit to Daraga victims, the senator proceeded to Gubat, Sorsogon to extend similar assistance to typhoon victims in the province.

“Kahit saang sulok po ng Pilipinas, pupuntahan ko po kayo hanggang sa makakaya ko para magbigay ng tulong at mag-iwan ng ngiti sa oras ng inyong pagdadalamhati,” Go told the victims, explaining that he regularly visits victims of calamities to listen to their concerns and provide solutions to their daily struggles.

 

 

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