PH disaster agency plan gains support

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A proposal of Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda in Congress that seeks to create an independent national authority to handle and strengthen the country’s disaster risk reduction management system has gained wide and popular support among community-based and globally known DRR advocates and practitioners.

House Bill (HB) 1648, filed last July, seeks to create the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority (NDRRMA) that will radicalize the country’s disaster response and management system and make it “the world’s best approach to DRR.”

HB 1648 is titled “An Act Further Strengthening the Philippines Disaster Reduction and Management System by Institutionalizing the Framework and Plan and Establishing the NDRRMA, an independent body under the Office of the President dedicated to pre-disaster risk reduction and post-disaster reconstruction.”

It aims to amend Republic Act (RA) 10121, the country’s DRR law, and further strengthen calamity response by “institutionalizing the framework and plan, with NDRRMA.”

He describes the bill as a “product of comparable international experiences” and is timed with the review of the performance and organizational structure of RA 10121 enacted in 2010.

The NDRRMA will monitor and ensure implementation of DRRRM objectives in all localities in the country, and perform oversight functions as well.

Among those that have vowed to support HB 1648 is the Disaster Risk Reduction Network Philippines (DRRNetPhils), a broad group of known DRR practitioners and advocates who recently held a consultation meeting with Salceda at his office in Congress last September 7.

DRRNetPhils is a national coalition of civil society organizations, people’s organizations and practitioners and advocates of community-based disaster risk reduction and management (CBDRRM) that include the Center for Disaster Preparedness, Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement, Oxfam, Coastal Core, Assistance and Cooperation for Community Resilience and Development, Damayan ng Maralitang Pilipinong Api Inc., Plan International University of the Philippines College of Social Welfare and Community Development and World Vision Development Foundation Inc.

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