Go also filed recently Senate Bill 1228, known as the Mandatory Evacuation Center Act, which mandates the establishment of a safe, permanent and dedicated evacuation center in every city, province and municipality.
Geremy Pintolo/ File
‘More proactive approach needed in dealing with calamity’
(The Philippine Star) - January 20, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go is pushing for a more proactive approach when dealing with natural disasters and calamities as he urged the government and the public for a change in mindset.

He reiterated the creation of the Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR) and proposed a bill mandating the construction of permanent evacuation centers throughout the country.

“It is high time that we fully recognize that our country is highly vulnerable to ominous disasters given the frequency of natural calamities, like typhoons, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, that hit and affect us every year,” Go said.

As these disasters always pose a threat to the country, he said a culture of proactivity is necessary to ensure the preparedness and safety of Filipinos in times of natural calamities.

“It is important for us to be proactive before tragedy comes. There should be someone that will teach the local government units and the people when calamities come. We should always be ready,” he also said in Filipino.

Located in the so-called “Pacific Ring of Fire,” an area where earthquakes and volcanic activities are more frequent than in any other part of the world, the Philippines is one of the most vulnerable countries to these natural hazards. Go underscored the importance of having a central authority that will be in charge of these matters given the considerable amount of effort, coordination and resources involved in disaster preparation, management and mitigation.

He pointed out that the current structure of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) allows it to act as an ad hoc inter-agency coordinating body when dealing with disasters. 

“More than structural change in the bureaucracy, we are also pushing for a change in mindset and approach,” Go stressed.

Senate Bill 205, or the Disaster Resilience Act of 2019 which he filed, seeks to establish a clear system of responsibility for disaster preparedness and response in all levels of the government, given the increasing number of various disasters and the devastation they bring.

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 to collect, consolidate, manage and share knowledge and information resources to boost disaster resilience.

Go also filed recently Senate Bill 1228, known as the Mandatory Evacuation Center Act, which mandates the establishment of a safe, permanent and dedicated evacuation center in every city, province and municipality.

These centers, he said, should have beds and comfort rooms with regular sanitary upkeeps until all the evacuees would go back to their homes.

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