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Wala kasing ginagawa! Lacson bats for NDRRMC abolition, replacement

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by: Xave Gregorio

Senator Ping Lacson wants the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) abolished and replaced with a new national government agency for all disasters in order to hasten implementation of rehabilitation projects.

Lacson said the new government agency will also take over the Climate Change Commission and the Office of Civil Defense, which he said would be the “core” of the new department.

“There’s really a need to create a separate agency which I advocated when I was still presidential assistant for rehabilitation and recovery ng Yolanda,” Lacson said Tuesday in an interview with media after the congressional oversight committee hearing on the law creating the NDRRMC.

Lacson was appointed as Yolanda rehab czar in 2013. He said in the interview that when he was at the helm of the rehabilitation efforts in the regions battered by the super typhoon, they only held meetings but failed to implement concrete projects which would aid the rehabilitation program.

“Ito nga puro lateral coordination, tapos monitoring, policy making, lagi na lang meeting ng meeting,” Lacson said.

“Kung meron talagang lead agency that would assume all responsibility at least ‘yung implementation mapapabilis,” he said.

Currently, the only bill in Congress proposing to create a new department focused on disasters has been pending with the House committee on government reorganization since July 2016.

Leyte 1st District Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez filed House Bill No. 344 which seeks to abolish the NDRRMC and create the Department of Emergency Preparedness and Emergency Management.

Lacson admits that creating a new department would add to the already-sprawling bureaucracy in the country, but underscored that it is needed as the Phiippines is prone to natural disasters.

“I-treat natin as an investment kasi ang laki ng nawawala sa atin kapag nagkaroon ng disaster at hindi tayo ready,” Lacson said.

Dr. Renato Solidum, Department of Science and Technology undersecretary for disaster risk reduction and climate change, welcomed Lacson’s proposal as he said the Philippines ranks third among the most disaster and hazard prone countries in the world.

“Tayo ay isang archipelagic country at tayo ay nasa western side ng Pacific at very prone tayo sa climate change effects,” Solidum said.