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Go pushes creation of disaster resilience department

Paolo Romero - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Bong Go yesterday pushed anew for the creation of the Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR) as well as amendments to the 45-year-old National Building Code to strengthen the country against natural and man-made calamities.

Go filed Senate Bill 1181 or the proposed Philippine Building Act of 2022, which seeks to upgrade building standards to meet recommended structural stability and integrity and withstand disasters to protect people’s lives and mitigate the impact of disaster.

The bill also seeks to provide more effective regulation of planning, design, construction, occupancy and maintenance of all public and private buildings and structures and promote building resilience against natural and man-made disasters.

“It’s been decades since the National Building Code of the Philippines was passed. There have been many developments and we’ve learned much about building safety because of the latest science,” Go said in Filipino.

“Building back better requires that in the reconstruction of damaged structures, due consideration shall be given to the possibility of the disaster repeating itself,” he said.

The senator also reintroduced a bill that mandates the establishment of an evacuation center in every city, province and municipality nationwide.

SB 193 aims to ensure that disaster-affected families can take refuge in evacuation centers that are safe and equipped with basic necessities.

In accordance with the specifications of the National Building Code, the evacuation centers shall be constructed and designed to withstand super typhoons or wind speeds of at least 300 kilometers per hour and seismic activity of at least magnitude 8.

“More or less 20 typhoons enter the country every year, that’s why disaster resiliency is very important, especially since our geographic location makes us vulnerable to other disasters, such as earthquakes, landslides, storm surges and more,” Go said.

He also refiled SB 188, which seeks to create the DDR, unifying and streamlining all responsibilities related to disaster preparedness and response, functions that are currently scattered across various departments and offices.

The DDR shall concentrate on three key areas, namely: disaster risk reduction, disaster preparedness and response and recovery and building forward better.

BONG GO

DDR

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