Lagman remains steadfast in rejecting creation of Department of Disaster Resilience

Published November 3, 2020, 5:12 PM

by Ben Rosario

Despite the typhoon Rolly’s disastrous impact on his congressional district, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman remained unwavering in his opposition against the creation of the Department of Disaster Resilience.


In a statement, Lagman cited numerous reasons to oppose the legislative measure that has received strong support from President Duterte.
 He represents the third district of Albay that was described by government as one of the areas badly battered by the typhoon last weekend.
Lagman was among the solons who voted in the negative when the DDR bill was approved on third and final reading in the Lower House.

‘”Another such Department will only create an unnecessary layer in the bureaucracy,” he said.
The independent lawmaker also warned that expenses for personnel, maintenance and other operating expenses and capital outlay will only unnecessarily soar.
“It would balloon expenses for personnel, MOOE, and capital outlay which could be used for more immediate needs and requirements, particularly now during the pandemic and for rescue and relief operations during calamities, just like the devastation wrought by Supertyphoon Rolly in Albay and Catanduanes,” he said.
Lagman stressed that there are existing government agencies that have been “effectively performing” in quickly responding to the needs of assistance and rehabilitation after the passing of a calamity.
According to Lagman the Office of Civil Defense, National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, Department of Social Welfare Development, Department of Public Works and Highways and Department of Interior and Local Government have been addressing with success the problems related to disaster prevention, mitigation, management and rehabilitation without the need for the creation of a new department.
“In most countries, there are no separate Departments for disaster resilience and response. For example, in Japan an ad hoc committee is created headed by the Prime Minister, as needed, in response to particular calamities. In Thailand, there is a department of disaster prevention and mitigation under the larger Ministry of Interior. In Singapore, it is the Singapore Civil Defence Force, under the Ministry of Home Affairs, which is in charge of disaster resilience,” Lagman explained.