Bong Go presses passage of Disaster Resilience bill

There is need for a more proactive approach when dealing with typhoons

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As Typhoon Quinta unleashed strong winds and heavy rains after making five landfalls before exiting, Sen Christopher “Bong” Go repeated his call for the passage of a measure that will create the Department of Disaster Resilience.

On Monday, October 26, Go urged his fellow lawmakers to act on the proposed measure.“

When I was elected Senator in 2019, I immediately filed Senate Bill No. 205 that aims to establish the Department of Disaster Resilience,” Go said.

Go filed in July last year Senate Bill 205 or the Department of Disaster Resilience Act which seeks to create an empowered, highly specialized and responsive DDR with clear unity of command and primarily responsible in ensuring safe, adaptive and disaster-resilient communities

The department shall concentrate on three key result areas, namely: disaster risk reduction, disaster preparedness and response, and recovery and building forward better.

Presently, various government agencies dealing with disaster risk reduction and management are scattered in several departments and offices and the current lead National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council is merely a coordinating body.

Go further explained the advantages of his proposed DDR bill, saying that it focuses not just on what the country should do after the disaster, but also before the disaster even strikes.“The focus is on preparation and resilience,” said Go.“

We should shift our focus from ‘damage control’ to ‘damage mitigation and control’,” he added. Aside from the DDR bill, Go also filed SB 1228, also known as the Mandatory Evacuation Center Act, which will require every province, city and municipality to construct such centers that will be equipped with emergency packs, medicines and other basic necessities.

Urging the country to learn from past experiences and lessons from the current COVID-19 pandemic, Go said it is high time that the nation scales up its preparedness and resilience against pandemics and natural disasters.

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