FOLLOWING the devastating effects of the recent earthquake in Luzon, re-electionist Senator JV Ejercito, if given a seat anew in the Senate, said he will be pressing for the immediate creation of a disaster management department.
During his Friday visit in this capital city for the proclamation rally of the PDP-Laban party, Ejercito stressed the urgent need to create the said department which will be in-charge of the year-round implementation of disaster preparedness measures.
“Ang Pilipinas kasi ay nasa tinatawag na ring of fire at very prone talaga tayo sa kalamidad. Wala naman tayong laban sa forces of nature pero ang pinakasandata natin sa sakuna ay preparedness,” Ejercito said.
He said he already filed for a bill that will create the said department in the Senate during his first term, but was put on hold to give way for other priority bills, including the Universal Health Care Act which he also sponsored.
“We will be re-filing kung mabigyan ulit ng pagkakataon. And hopefully kung palarin kami, dalawa kami ni Senator Francis Tolentino na makipaglaban talaga para maipasa na siya at ma-implement as a law,” Ejercito said.
Ejercito said a full-time department is now essential, considering the number and types of disasters experienced in the country nowadays.
He added that the new department he will be proposing will deal with disaster preparedness, including the year-round education drive among residents, quick response, and mitigation, as well as risk reduction.
“Importante ang edukasyon kasi kailangang malaman ng mga tao ang importansya ng evacuation kapag kailangan. Siyempre iyong acquisition ng equipment at maintenance ng mga evacuation centers din para hindi na tayo nanggugulo ng mga eskwelahan,” he said.
The creation of the department, Ejercito added, will develop effective processes and policies, while sustainable resources and accountability can be established.