Marcos intent on placing national disaster agency under OP

Three months after agreeing with the idea to establish a disaster resilience body under the Office of the President, President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said his administration is now headed in that direction.

President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. (Photo courtesy of OPS)

Marcos said in a media interview on Tuesday, Nov. 8, in Tacloban City that he wants the government's national disaster response to operate under his office.

He said this move is among the discussions they have been undertaking in order to improve the country's disaster response capability.

"And there has been a suggestion that has been going around for many years now and that we will put the disaster response team, the national response team, under the Office of the President. And I think that we are headed in that direction because of the weather that we are suffering now from the effects of climate change," Marcos said at the sidelines of the 9th year commemoration of typhoon Yolanda.

He said the government can no longer "ask our departments to respond any more quickly," stressing the need to pursue much-needed reforms to make the country more proactive and responsive to disasters.

"We can only do more in terms of actual bringing the assistance, putting the infrastructure together and making sure that the LGUs are functioning, that there’s communication, that there’s power," he said.

"This can be done if --- now there’s the NDRRMC ( National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council) and they are the ones who are tasked to do this but I think it would be equally, if not, a more robust system if we put it under the Office of the President," he added.

The President first agreed with the proposal when the 7.0-magnitude earthquake jolted parts of Northern Luzon in late July. He was then agreeing to his sister Senator Imee Marcos' proposal to establish a body of disaster resilience under the Office of the President.

It came as a withdrawal of his prior statement of support for the passage of a measure that will create a Department of Disaster Resilience.