Senate wants to prioritize disaster department

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MANILA, Philippines – The Senate wants to prioritize the proposals to create a department that will have the full authority and resources to respond to disasters.

The lawmakers said although the country has a National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, there is not a single agency in charge.

Among these who filed the proposals is no other than Senate President Vicente Sotto III through Senate Bill 245 which seeks to create “an empowered, highly specialized and responsive Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR).”

On the other hand, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go also filed a similar bill, which is Senate Bill 205 for “clear unity of command.”

Sen. Sonny Angara, also filed Senate Bill 331 which is seeking to create a DDR and stated that “One (challenge) is the creation of our national fleet of disaster response ships. It is a must in an archipelagic country like ours.”

Senators Francis Pangilinan and Francis Tolentino both filed measures to include a calamity fund, and rehabilitation management programs.

While Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto and Senators Grace Poe, Sherwin Gatchalian, Manny Pacquiao and Bong Revilla have also filed the similar measures.

The Agusan del Norte Representative, Lawrence Fortun also sees the need of government to establish permanent and no-build danger zones in Mindanao. (Cate Pallarco/IAMIGO/CNS)

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