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Effective ba? Gatchalian wants PH disaster management law reviewed

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Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has sought an inquiry on the impact and effectiveness of the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 (Republic Act 10121).

He pressed for the inquiry amid some apparent “drawbacks and other shortcomings” in the government’s response in addressing the devastating effects of the Taal Volcano eruption.

According to the World Risk Report, the Philippines ranked 3rd in 2018 among 172 countries and ranked 9th in 2019 among 180 countries in terms of disaster risk.

He raised the importance of addressing the root causes of vulnerabilities to disasters since the country is exposed to multiple hazards, such as typhoons, earthquakes, flooding, drought and volcanic eruption, among others, due to its geographic location.

“Halos sampung taon na ang lumipas simula nang maisabatas ang Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, ngunit marami pa ring mga kakulangan sa ating sistema na kailangang bigyan ng pansin,” Gatchalian said.

“Nais nating maisagawa itong pagdinig hindi para magturo kung sino ang mga may pagkukulang sa pagsabog ng Taal at sa mga nagdaang sakuna,” he said on Friday.

He added, “Ang ating layunin ay malaman kung paano natin lalong mapapalakas ang ating sistema ng pag-responde sa panahon ng kalamidad.”

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported that agriculture damage already reached more than P3.2 billion.

The NDRRMC also reported that as of January 20, a total of 53,716 families in the provinces of Batangas, Quezon, Laguna, and Cavite have been affected by the Taal’s eruption.

Almost 30,000 of them are now in evacuation centers. About 21,000 children remain in the 14-kilometer danger zone.

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