Following the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit northern Luzon last month, a pro-administration lawmaker sought the creation of the National Resiliency and Disaster Management Authority for a coordinated response to calamities
In filing Senate Bill (SB) 186, Senator Imee Marcos said the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRMMC) itself prefers to be under the Office of the President (OP) since its response and rescue operations require the cooperation of other departments and agencies.
‘ ’Moreover, the additional creation of a department would be in contrast to the administration’s effort and direction in rightsizing the government,’’ she explained.
‘’It is imperative that an Authority to be created under the Office of the President which will have the capacity to exercise command and control over concerned departments, agencies, government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs), and local government units (LGUs), including the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), on their respective functions, and be able to provide immediate response in times of disaster and other hazards,’’ the explanatory note of the Marcos bill stated.
Marcos said the current practice in disaster risk reduction requires going through different government agencies delaying the mobilization of resources in times of disaster.
‘’During these events, lives are put in danger, basic needs like food, shelter, water and utilities are compromised and public infrastructures destroyed,’’ she added.
In pressing for the approval of her bill, Marcos pointed out that the Philippines is an archipelago situated in the Pacific ring of fire, with more than 7,000 islands and 36,000 kilometers coastline that makes the country highly vulnerable to natural disasters.