There is a need for a creation of disaster management dep't in PH- Speaker GMA

There is a need for a creation of disaster management dep't in PH- Speaker GMA

We should create a Department of Disaster Resilience.

This is the opinion of former President and now Speaker of the House Representatives  Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo.

She experienced first hand the difficulty and confusion  as to where she will get accurate and live updates regarding Category 5 Super typhoon “Ompong.”
House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (photo credit to owner)

“We were clueless where the typhoon was going to hit so because it is a coordinating council so we based it where there are no classes, where it has been announced no classes. Marilao, Obando in Bulacan. It turns out it’s east of Aurora,” Arroyo told mediamen.

She underscored the need to pass a law for the creation of the department that will solely address national disaster preparedness and response concerns.

“We should have gone to Aurora but we did not know,” said Arroyo, adding that they were not aware of Ompong’s directiion when they prepared the relief goods the other day.

“If there is a disaster management department, they would have better information and they can prepare better,” she added.

She further explains that this Department should be equipped with modern equipments, in terms of communications, transportation and heavy-duty disaster control tools and gears.

The House is currently debating about the bill creating such government department which takes note that the country is always expecting at least twenty typhoons a year.

Department of Social Welfare Development, GMA said has enough relief goods for those affected by natural calamities but lacks the proper heavy duty all weather transportation equipments to ensure delivery to affected Filipinos.

“A disaster management department would have everything so what happened? The DSWD had to borrow the truck from the mayor of Meycauayan, the husband of Cong. Villarica,“  Speaker GMA said, referring to Deputy Speaker Linabelle Villarica and her husband, Mayor Henry Villarica of Meycauayan

That truck bogged down that resulted to the delay in the arrival of the much needed goods for the affected communities.

“I mean these are the logistical problems when you have only a coordinating council and disasters happen to us all the time especially with climate change,” she said.

House bill 8165 seeking to create a Department of Disaster Resilience is up for second reading approval in the Lower House.

A consolidation of 42 bills and five resolutions, HB 8165 proposes the DDR to be the primary government agency responsible for managing the national effort to reduce disaster risk, manage preparations for natural calamities and lead the response, recovery and rehabilitation efforts for victims.
President Rodrigo Duterte in his recent state visit in Israel was able to see how Israel's Magon David Adom which is a national organization responsible for emergency, disaster response, pre-hospital care, and blood services.
He said that having the technologies similar to Israel would be beneficial for the Philippines.


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Report from Manila Bulletin

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