BAGUIO

Benguet caretaker backs creation of DDR

BENGUET caretaker Eric Go Yap expressed his support for the creation of the Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR) that will manage disasters, calamities and pandemics.

During the awarding ceremonies of the Cordillera Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) for "Bituen ti Amianan" (Star of the North) and CDRRMC's launching of the "Agdan ti Laing" (Stairway to Greatness) coffee table book at the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-Cordillera, Yap said the creation of the new agency will be formalized soon.

"We are looking at passing the house bill before the term of President Rodrigo Duterte ends. At present, the bill is now in second reading," Yap said.

According to the bill, DDR will be the primary agency "responsible, accountable, and liable for leading, managing, and organizing national efforts to prevent and reduce disaster risks; prepare for and respond to disasters; and recover, rehabilitate, and build forward better after the destruction."

The agency will also exercise joint supervision with the Department of Science and Technology over Pagasa and Phivolcs, Department of Environment and Natural Resources over the Geo-Hazard, Assessment and Engineering Geology Section of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, and Department of the Interior and Local Government over the Bureau of Fire Protection.

Albert Mogol, Office of the Civil Defense (OCD)-Cordillera director and Cordillera Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council chairman, welcomed the support of the lawmaker.

"Once the DDR is created, OCD will have to coordinate with the said department because this is civil defense. Some of its present functions will be transferred to the said department based on recommendations by the Lower House," Mogol said.

Aside from the OCD, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council will also be under the DDR.

Baguio City Representative Marquez Go earlier expressed his support for the creation of the DDR with its structure having its own secretary, undersecretaries and assistant secretaries, aside from the establishment of its own regional offices.


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