Romualdez to Aquino: Admit mistakes


LEGAZPI CITY: First District of Leyte Rep. Martin Ro-mualdez, who is visiting this city to help distribute relief assistance to families left homeless by typhoon Nona, said President Benigno Aquino 3rd should learn to be humble and let go of his pride as leadership, especially in cases of disaster management and response measures, requires maturity,  not   egocentricity.

“There should be no pride and he (President Aquino) should learn humility and admit his mistake. He should accept the fact that more than 10,000 people were killed in Leyte when Supertyphoon Yolanda battered Visayas. He should stop pretending [that everything is]spick and span,” Romualdez said when asked what he had learned from his district’s Yolanda experience.

Romualdez was in Legazpi City on Thursday to give relief assistance to 3,500 families left homeless by typhoon Nona in six coastal villages of this city, in partnership with businessman Elizaldy S. Co of Sunwest Group of Companies and Ako Bicol Partylist Rep. Christopher Co.

Romualdez is questioning the policy of the government on disaster management, which, he said, does not ensure accountability for the distribution of relief goods and money intended for typhoon victims, especially in the Visayas region.

The lawmaker said the Philippines is in need of a disaster emergency management department that will be accountable for the cash-flow, specifically that involving donations by non-governmental and international organizations, to ensure transparency.

He is pushing for a separate department of disaster emergency management through House Bill 3486, which calls for the creation of the DDPEM to replace NDRRMC as an accountable body that will be permanent, independent, and headed by a scientist or a technocrat with a Cabinet rank, so that it could have direct access to the Office of the President in times of natural disasters.

The NDRRMC is just a council, which is not liable or subject to transparency and other COA rules.

The measure was filed in December 2013, a month after Supertyphoon Yolanda ravaged Tacloban and other Visayan provinces in November.

“Yolanda is a wakeup call for the government. The role of emergency management is very vital as natural disasters are getting stronger with the impact of climate change, which is becoming harsher and more frequent through the years. Forecasting should also level-up to inform the public and disaster responders [well]ahead of time,” he said.


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  1. rolland Ybannez on

    With God’s help we learned the hard way after Yolanda, but most of the people did not know the meaning of storm surge and most of the people do not know how to spell it, and so I suggest that PAGASA should translate the technical term it used in weather forecasting in the dialect so the people can understand it and can follow the weather advisories of the local authorities

  2. What we need is a DDPEM with a full-time secretary and staff whose sole duty is to help victims of disasters and calamities.

  3. a department that would solely focus on natural disasters without the ugly red tape that has caused many delays in the delivery of immediate assistance needed by the victims

  4. rommy fernandez jr. on

    Kagaya sa US may Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) na nakatutok ng 24/7 sa disaster forecasting, reduction risk management at sa rehabilitation Ayaw na natin maulit ang nangyari nung yolanda , Ondoy etc..

  5. Junny Lee Encarnacion on

    We need a separate government line agency which has its own budget and technical expertise to handle disaster response, unlike the task force-like structure of the present National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council..

  6. nakuha nya pang tumulong sa mga nasalanta ni Nona, eh samantalang ang syudad nya, sumisigaw pa rin hanggang ngayun ng tulong sa pinsalang dulot ni yolanda… ano ba yan?

  7. Mr. Romualdez, do not use Yolanda in your campaign! Wala kang malasakit sa mga naulila ng bagyo dahil sa ginagawa mo.