SGMA pushes for creation of disaster management department
Speaking to media at the sidelines of the recent distribution of relief goods to typhoon victims in Marilao, Bulacan, Arroyo noted that while she is satisfied with the work of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the agency has limitations. She has filed House Bill 8165, which was approved on third reading last Oct. 1 and transmitted to the Senate, where six similar bills are sitting with the upper chamber’s Committee on National Defense and Security. Within the House, the Speaker has helped create the Committee on Disaster Management, currently chaired by Bataan 1st District Rep. Geraldine Roman. Appearing recently at the committee’s second meeting since its formation, Arroyo said the group has to start moving to perform its oversight functions so that the implementation of the government’s rehabilitation and reconstruction plans can be attended to, and help the executive department focus on its execution problems. “For instance in the Marawi (City) rehabilitation, my questions anyway, were mostly about the implementation, because that is now what I am asking the committee members to focus on,” said the Speaker. The House Committee on Disaster Management’s jurisdiction includes all matters directly and principally relating to disaster and calamities, whether natural or man-made, as well as policies, plans, programs and projects related to disaster risk and vulnerability reduction and management. That includes disaster preparedness and resiliency, relief and rescue, recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction. Currently, the House Committee on Disaster Management is preparing to conduct its ocular inspection of Ground Zero in Marawi City this month to determine the progress of rehabilitation and to facilitate the construction of the first batch of houses for the displaced residents.