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House appropriations panel OKs budget proposal for DDR

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

The House Committee on Appropriations has unanimously endorsed the budgetary requirements of the consolidated bill creating the Department of Disaster Relience (DDR).

Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab, panel chair, said the eruption of Taal Volcano “requires us to act on this measure now.”

Under the still unnumbered legislation, DDR will be the agency that will be in charge of the nation’s disaster risk preparedness, mitigation, management, and response.

The proposed new department would absorb the Office of Civil Defense and other relevant agencies, their personnel and their funds.

Ungab’s panel took the vote three hours ahead of the out-of-town plenary session of the House in Batangas City, where the chamber is scheduled to pass the bill on second reading.

Last November, the DDR bill hurdled the House Committee on Ways and means chaired by Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda.

Salceda’s panel granted exemption from taxes, import duties and donor’s tax on foreign donations, and goods and services donated from abroad under DDR.

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