Senate targets to pass creation of Department of Disaster Resilience before end of 2019
Maris Federez • November 4, 2019 • 368
The Senate of the Philippines considers the proposed creation of a Department of Disaster Resilience as urgent following the recent earthquakes that hit North Cotabato.
According to the proposal of Senator Christopher Bong Go, the said department will handle all disaster-related responsibilities.
To date, several agencies including the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) are shouldering the responsibilities in addressing disaster-related events.
Several senators have expressed support to the said proposal.
“Nagkakaturuan eh, because it’s all coordinating council. Hindi po siya talagang departamento na nakatutok, for example, on post calamity and even pre-calamity,” said Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri.
“So yung sa disaster, ang importante diyan, may mananagot. Talagang may tutupad. Walang turuan ng turuan,” said Sen. Imee Marcos.
Senate President Vicente Sotto said there is a big possibility that the bill will be passed before the year ends.
“Hindi siya masyadong problema hindi katulad ng ibang departamentong pinaplano na nagsasalungat duon sa right sizing bill,” Sen. Sotto said.
Meanwhile, Sen. Zubiri doesn’t see any reason why the approval of the proposed 2020 national budget will be delayed.
The senator hopes that the 6-month delay in the passage of the 2019 budget will not have a repeat.
“Ang consensus ng ating mga kasamahan sa Senado ay maganda naman, ipapasa natin as soon as possible time,” Zubiri said. (from the report of Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf
MANILA, Philippines – Authorities on Thursday denied information circulating online that the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) is raiding private hospitals and confiscating stocks of personal protective equipment amid novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.
“May kumalat po na fake news that some hospitals were raided by government, specifically OCD, to confiscate their supplies and equipment para ipamigay sa ibang hospitals. Fake news po yan,” Mark Timbal, spokesperson of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (NDRRMC), said in a message to reporters.
The OCD is the implementing arm of the NDRRMC.
On Wednesday night, information about the supposed raid made rounds on social media. The confiscated medical supplies were allegedly being consolidated to be distributed to other health facilities with attributions to a senator.
In a social media post, the Medical City denied the occurrence of such an incident.
“There are news circulating that a raid of PPEs occurred in our premises on the evening of April 1. We deny this and encourage everyone to be careful in spreading unverified information,” the post read.
Senator Bong Go, whose name surfaced in social media posts in connection with the purported incident, denied the allegation.
“Claims circulating that I am involved in handling donations intended for the government are utterly false, deliberate disinformation, and black propaganda,” Go said in a statement.
“Nais ko po klaruhin na wala po akong kinalaman sa operasyon at mandato ng OCD. Wala rin pong kinalaman ang opisina ko sa distribution ng government resources,” Go said.
According to Timbal, the OCD, like what was done in previous disaster response operations, has been gathering resources through procurement and donations.
“In the case of the COVID-19 response, OCD procured PPEs and other medical supplies and received donations from various donors. These are then provided to various hospital recipients,” he said.
“We are very grateful po to all our donors and the member-agencies of the NDRRMC who provide logistical support for the transport of the various items that we are giving to hospitals across the country,” he added.
He also thanked the media for helping the agency in its fight against false information.
MANILA, Philippines – Several residents are risking their lives to salvage their belongings and animals despite the dangers of returning to Taal volcano island.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reiterated that going inside the 14-kilometer permanent danger zone in the volcano island is illegal and highly dangerous because Taal Volcano may erupt anytime.
“Kung ni-rescue man po nila, mabuti at nagpapasalamat po tayo na ganun na nabuhay po ang mga alaga nila (It’s good and we appreciate that they were able to rescue their animals alive),” NDRRMC Spokesperson Mark Timbal said.
“Pero ang ikinakakaba po naming ay iyong kanilang pagbalik. Kasi they violated an ‘off-limits’ arrangement natin at saka ‘yung mandatory evacuation order for that particular area (But what we are concerned about is their journey back to the safe zone. They are violating our ‘off-limits’ arrangement and the mandatory evacuation order for that particular area),” he added.
Several images and videos were uploaded on social media showing residents ferrying their livestock to the shore.
Also, several members of animal welfare teams were reportedly caught stranded on the island.
According to the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), the three members of the group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), were already rescued to safety.
“Kaninang umaga, tumawag kasi sila na medyo na-stranded nga daw sila. So, they asked for help to contact ang Coast Guard na mabilis naman pong umaksyon. Nakuha naman po sila (They called this morning asking for help to contact the Coast Guard because they were stranded. The Coast Guard immediately launched a rescue operation and they were brought to safety),” explained PAWS Executive Director Anna Cabrera.
The NDRRMC said residents and NGOs should coordinate first with them before they venture to the danger zone to discuss proper rescue procedures in rescuing the animals.
“Maganda po ang intensyon nila, pero (Their intention is good but) what we are worried about is, what if something bad happens and they are within the 14-kilometer danger zone,” Timbal said.
“Hindi po natin maga-guarantee ang safety ng mga taong ito (We cannot guarantee the safety of these people),” he added. MNP (with details from Harlene Delgado)
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