A NON-GOVERNMENT organization called on President Benigno Aquino III to prioritize disaster preparedness in his first 100 days of office.

After the ‘wang-wang,’ the Citizens' Disaster Response Center (CRDC) said Aquino should now concentrate on more important issues.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

With the expected onset of heavy rains as well as prolonged dry spells due to changes in weather patterns brought about by climate change, CRDC executive director Lourdes Escandor said the government should beef-up its disaster-preparedness and response systems this early.

"Let's not wait for the next disaster to hit the Philippines before we reinforce our systems," Escandor said, adding that early preparation is the best solution to natural calamities.

Escandor also asked the President to order the immediate implementation of the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010.

Under this law, the National Disaster Coordinating Council will be replaced with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

A Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office will also be established in every province, city and municipality, and a Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Committee in every barangay, which will be responsible for setting the direction, development, implementation and coordination of disaster risk management programs within their territorial jurisdiction.

Also under the new law, the calamity fund, renamed as the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund, can now be used for disaster risk reduction or mitigation, prevention, and preparedness activities.

Before this law was passed, the calamity fund can only be accessed during emergencies. (Rimaliza Opiña)