Philippines: Department of disaster resilience
In President Duterte’s State of the Nation Address on July 24, 2017, he enjoined “both houses of Congress to expeditiously craft a law establishing a new authority or department that is responsive to the prevailing 21st century conditions, and empowered to best deliver an enhanced disaster resiliency and quick disaster response.” Both the Senate and the House have filed various bills answering the President’s clamor. Notable are House Bill 6075 introduced by Rep. Joey Sarte Solceda, Senate Bill 1994 introduced by Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara and SB 1735 filed by Sen. Grace L. Poe.
These bills seek to create the Department of Disaster Resilience (DRR) to replace the existing DRRM. The Explanatory Note of HB 6075 is enlightening as to the purpose for creating a high level institution such as the DRR:
It is the intention of this bill to establish a much-needed, stronger, self-governing DRR, one that is clearly mandated to lead in the planning, coordination, monitoring, oversight and implementation of disaster-risk and vulnerability reduction and management, equipped with the necessary competency and resources to engage new actors, particularly in the field of risk transfer and insurance, and built with the necessary structure to manage broader climate-disaster governance arrangements, and oversee the implementation of disaster-risk and vulnerability reduction and managements toward Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction and the Sustainable Development Goals, as enshrined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. These agreements are of particular significance for the Philippines for addressing common, interlocking issues affecting the country’s aspiration for a prosperous, sustainable future. These issues converge on the Philippines’s vulnerabilities, which stem from its geographical location, socioeconomic features including a rapidly growing population, and external factors like climate change which is outstripping the country’s natural coping capacity.
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