By Arjay L. Balinbin, Reporter
MALACAÑANG HAS submitted to Congress its version of the proposed law for the creation of the Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR), Presidential Spokesperson Harry L. Roque, Jr. disclosed on Tuesday.
“The Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO) has transmitted yesterday (July 30) to the Offices of the Senate President and the House Speaker the administration’s version of the bill creating the Department of Disaster Resilience or DDR,” Mr. Roque said in a press briefing at the Palace on July 31.
He added: “The bill is anchored on the government’s experience with previous disasters, among them, super-typhoon Yolanda (in 2013), and guided by President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s leadership principles.”
The proposed law, according to Mr. Roque, “is consistent with what the President said even on the Marawi’s [rehabilitation], ayaw niya ng committee-committee (that he does not like multiple committees).”
“The President made this very clear when the proposed bill was presented at the last Cabinet meeting. Only one person is in charge; although, inevitably, there will have to be interagency work because the line agencies do still have their mandate, but there will be one person calling the shots in case of disasters,” Mr. Roque also said.
A key feature of this bill “is a clear system of responsibility for disaster preparedness and response classified into four levels — from Levels 1 to 4 or from the municipal/city mayor all the way up to the Secretary of Disaster Resilience,” the bill’s explanatory note said.
The establishment of the DDR “answers the oft-repeated question in times of disaster: who is in charge?” the note also read.
It added that the “system of assigning levels of responsibility is aimed at ensuring unity of command and effective collaboration in the country’s disaster resilience efforts.”
The DDR will also have the power “to temporarily take over or direct any private utility to avert disasters and/or save lives.”