Sun. Nov 29th, 2020

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go welcomed the recent announcement by President Rodrigo Duterte to create an inter-agency task force that would singularly focus on fast-tracking recovery and rehabilitation efforts in areas affected by the recent series of typhoons, while the Department of Disaster Resilience is still pending legislation.

 Go reiterated that President Duterte has been consistent in his marching orders for all concerned agencies to immediately assist all affected Filipinos, utilize all available resources to restore normalcy as soon as possible, and mobilize the whole government for a holistic approach towards recovery and rehabilitation.

Go joined President Duterte in carrying out an aerial inspection of typhoon-hit areas, such as the towns of Enrile, Iguig and Solana in Cagayan province on Sunday, November 15. The President also briefly talked to affected residents in Solana town upon landing. A briefing with national and local officials was held in Tuguegarao City.

Later in the day, both went to Camarines Sur for an aerial inspection of Minalabac and Bula towns and for another briefing at the provincial capitol with key Cabinet members and local officials.

The Philippines has been battered with a series of calamities in a span of just two months on top of the health crisis caused by COVID-19 pandemic. But throughout these crises, Go said that the government has shown that it is on top of the situation.

“We registered fewer deaths, evacuated more people, forewarned a significant number of the population and maintained safety, security, and orderliness in communities compared to similar calamities in the past,” Go added, explaining that government efforts keep improving in terms of disaster preparedness and response.

Go, however, reiterated that in the long term, what the country truly needs to become disaster resilient is to institutionalize a single department that will handle all these responsibilities.

Go called on his colleagues in the Senate to look into Senate Bill 205, which he filed last year. Known as the Disaster Resilience Act of 2019, it seeks to create the Department of Disaster Resilience or DDR, which shall unify and streamline all responsibilities related to disaster preparedness and response that are presently scattered across various departments and offices.

The Senator has also appealed to the executive department to augment the calamity funds of the local government units, especially those that are still trying to control the spread of COVID-19 and are still recovering from other calamities. (Sph.com)

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