Bong Go renews push for Department of Disaster Resilience bill

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go has refiled the measure that seeks the creation of the Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR)—a separate department that would have a clear unity of command and primary responsibility in responding to disasters and natural calamities in the Philippines.

The proposed Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR) failed to pass in the 18th Congress. In pushing for its creation, Go said he is eyeing to have an empowered, highly specialized department that would be responsible in ensuring safe, adaptive and disaster-resilient communities.

Under Go’s version of the measure, the department shall concentrate on three key result areas, namely: disaster risk reduction, disaster preparedness and response, and recovery and building forward better.

“Sa pagpapatayo ng departamentong ito, mas magiging mabilis ang pagtugon ng pamahalaan, mas maiibsan ang masamang epekto ng kalamidad para mas mabilis makabangon ang ating mga kababayan pagkatapos ng mga di inaasahang sakuna (In creating this department, the government’s response to calamities would be faster and it will ease the negative impact of calamities so our people can recover faster after an unexpected calamity)” Go said.

Go also filed nine other measures for the 19th Congress on Monday, July 4. Among the measures he submitted include the “Free Annual Medical Check-Up Bill” and the “Comprehensive Dialysis Benefits Package Bill.”

The free medical check up bill mandates the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to provide annual medical check-up (screening, physical examination, laboratory tests and consulation) to all Filipinos free of charge as part of its Comprehensive Outpatient Benefits Program.

The other bill, on the other hand, mandates PhilHealth to provide free dialysis to all its members to ensure that dialysis services are available to all Filipinos.

Other measures Go filed include a rental housing subsidy, mandatory evacuation center, e-governance bill, center for disease control and prevention, the proposed Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines, magna carta for barangays, and magna carta for Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) personnel.

The senator is also pushing for a rural employment assistance program, emergency medical services system, free legal assistance to the military and police personnel, Philippine National Games, One Town-One Product bill, amendments to the Insurance Code, National Housing Development Production and Financing program, barangay health workers benefits and compensation and the creation of a drug abuse treatment and rehabilitation centers nationwide.