Salceda backs Senate on disaster body

Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, who is pushing for the creation of the Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR), said he supports a Senate proposal to place the body under the Office of the President.

Salceda, chairperson of the House Committee on Ways and Means, was reacting to the proposal raised by Senate President Miguel Zubiri.

“I will endorse it as a compromise with my colleagues in the House, as long as it moves the bill forward towards PBBM’s desk,” he said in response to the Senate’s scaled-down version of the agency creation.

Salceda previously challenged the Senate to take up the bill.

“As long as it retains key elements, it will do,” he said, referring to the Senate proposal.

The lawmaker said the key element is the institutionalization of resilience initiatives.

It can’t be ad hoc in operationalization, the way the Office of Civil Defense-National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council relationship (NDRRMC) is, according to Salceda.

He continued that another key element is proximity to the President and suggested that the agency chair be a presidential adviser with cabinet rank so that they could work with the rest of the Cabinet.

Salceda explained that the cabinet rank for the head is also crucial as it will allow the head to determine the risk profile of all national priority projects.

He emphasized that the benefit of a new agency is that it can concentrate on ongoing capacity building, leading to culture building, as opposed to the present agencies’ various mandates.

Salceda stressed that the critical aspect would be the abolition of the NDRRMC.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *