President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. wants disaster response to launch within a day in times of emergencies, and urged disaster officials to study the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to make the goal happen.
Marcos told officials of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) to take inspiration from FEMA's best practices for disaster management in an attempt to make the government more responsive to people’s needs in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.
FEMA is an agency under the United States' Department of Homeland Security which primarily coordinates the response to a disaster in the US.
The President has been mentioning FEMA since the first typhoon under his leadership hit the country this year. He has been pushing for a FEMA-like disaster management amid his intention to create a team that will immediately work every time there is an emergency or a disaster.
He has also been raising the idea to place the NDRRMC under the Office of the President (OP) for quicker response in times of disaster as this will cut the red tape.
“So that kind of authority and you can... basta’t pag (in times of) disaster, within a day or two, hopefully within a day, pasok na sila (they are in) and they’ll see what’s going on and then report back to us and start with the assessment,” Marcos said.
“And pagka (when) they assess on the ground, they can already start calling the other agencies...Yun lang habol ko, e (That is what I am after). Yung mabilis, para mas mabilis (The quick response)," he added.
The idea, according to the President, is to avoid the circuitous bureaucratic process and give agencies the authority to respond quickly and facilitate the immediate release of government funds.
He further said that under the proposed setup, a team of different agencies, including the military, will go to the disaster area, make an assessment, and come up with a report.
“And then, they will come up with a very – report, sasabihin (we will say) DSWD ‘we need this’... and then they will have the power... under the OP, will give them the authority,” Marcos explained.
Infrastructure damages are also part of the assessment and the desired prompt response, the President said.