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PIA Press Release
2010/01/25

RDCC-8 calls on Congress to pass bill on disaster risk reduction and management

Tacloban City (January 25) -- The members of the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council of Eastern Visayas, during its meeting which was held on Thursday, January 21, agreed to pass a resolution requesting Congress to prioritize the passage of the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction Management and Recovery Act before the last day of session on February 5.

The members noted that the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council can only encourage and coordinate with the local disaster coordinating councils.

Under the consolidated bill passed by the Senate, the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) will be renamed as the National Disaster Risk Management Council (NDRMC) and shall be made the main policy making body.

The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) shall likewise be renamed as the National Disaster Risk Management Authority (NDRMA) vested with corporate powers and would act as secretariat of the NDRMC among other functions.

The measure further proposes that the Local Disaster Risk Management Office be made a permanent office in every locality in the country.

It likewise proposes that Accredited Community Disaster Volunteers (ACDV) be mobilized to augment manpower and logistical shortages in the delivery of disaster risk reduction programs and activities.

Under the consolidated bill, focus is shifted not only on calamity response but on preparedness, emergency response and rehabilitation.

The bill calls for integrating disaster risk reduction into sustainable development policies and planning, strengthening institutions, mechanisms and capacities to build resilience to hazards and for implementing a systematic incorporation of risk reduction approaches into emergency preparedness, response and recovery programs.

The measure also ensures agencies tasked with the responsibility of safeguarding the environment, health and well-being, sustainable livelihood, social protection and the regulation of public and private infrastructure have access to and are equipped with the skills, information, and strategies that are necessary for effective risk assessments and vulnerability reduction.

Section 2 of Senate Bill 3086 declares as a state policy "to uphold the people's constitutional right to life and property by decreasing disaster vulnerability, increasing their capability for recovery and enhancing over-all resilience to the events."

The bill mandates the government to adopt an integrated, coordinated, multi-sectoral, inter-agency and community-based approach to disaster risk management that shall be both anticipatory of and responsive to the socio-economic and environmental impacts of disasters including climate change.

It seeks to develop, promote and implement a comprehensive National Disaster Risk Management Plan to address pre-disaster vulnerabilities, disaster response requirements, and post-disaster recovery.

Moreover, the proposed measure will mainstream disaster risk reduction into physical and land-use planning, budget, infrastructure, education, health, environment, housing, and other important sectors.

Once enacted, SB 3086 will institutionalize and fund a national framework for disaster risk management.

Funding of disaster risk management activities at the local level provides that at least 5 percent of the estimated revenue from regular sources of the local government unit (LGU) shall be set aside as local disaster risk management fund (LDRMF), to support disaster risk reduction or mitigation, prevention and preparedness activities for potential occurrence of disasters, as well as for disaster response, rehabilitation, reconstruction and other works or services in connection with disasters or calamities, whether natural or human-induced. (PIA 8) [top]

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