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Philippines : Department of Disaster Management proposed.

Concerned that severe storms and other calamities have now become the "new normal" in the Philippines, a lawmaker has proposed the creation of a distinct and separate Department of Disaster Management (DDM).

Hon. Winston Castelo "Natural disasters such as typhoons, storm surges, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, among others, are bound to happen in significant frequency that would necessitate a more definitive, purposive, and planned course of action on the part of the government, at the national, regional and local levels," Rep. Winston Castelo (2nd District, Quezon City) said.

Citing the country's grim experiences following typhoons Ruby and Yolanda, among others, Castelo said these unfortunate events and their outcomes and consequences now call for the creation of the DDM given the country's vulnerability to strings of disasters as it stands in the path of typhoons and tropical cyclones.

"The Philippines has historically suffered from a high rate of natural disasters, but climate change is giving rise to even more frequent and more disastrous weather-related calamities, a situation appearing to be the new normal," Castelo noted.

Castelo is author of HB 5278 entitled "An Act creating the Department of Disaster Management as distinct and separate from the Department of National Defense and for other purposes."

The proposed DDM, to be comprised of the present Office of Civil Defense and/or National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), shall have distinct and separate mandate to carry out safer, adaptive and disaster-resilient Filipino communities towards sustainable development.

By law, the Office of Civil Defense formulates and implements the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan (NDRRMP) and ensures that the physical framework, social, economic and environmental plans of communities, cities, municipalities and provinces are consistent with such plan.

The author noted that the NDRRMP fulfils the requirement of RA No. 10121 of 2010, which provides the legal basis for policies, plans and programs to deal with disasters along the four thematic areas, namely: disaster preparedness, disaster response, disaster prevention and mitigation, and disaster rehabilitation and recovery.

The NDRRMP is consistent with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Framework (NDRRMF), which serves as the "principal guide to disaster risk reduction and management efforts in the country."

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan 2011-2028 sets down the expected outcomes, outputs, key activities, indicators, lead agencies, implementing partners and timelines under each of the four distinct yet mutually reinforcing thematic areas earlier stated.

"In other words, there is hereby established from this institutional arrangement the now proposed Department of Disaster Management," Castelo proposed.

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Publication:Mena Report
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Jan 8, 2015
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