MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved on third and final reading the measure seeking to create the Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR), which was among President Rodrigo Duterte's priority measures from his last State of the Nation Address (SONA).
With 241 affirmative votes, seven negative votes, and one abstention, lawmakers approved House Bill No. 5989 also known as the "Disaster Resilience Act."
Under 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."
DDR shall augment the capacity of local government units in collaboration with relevant national government agencies and other stakeholders to implement disaster risk reduction and management and climate change action plans, programs, projects, and activities.
The bill also provides that DDR will still have the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) as its core organization to which the Climate Change Commission Office, the Health Emergency Management Bureau of the Department of Health (DOH), the Disaster Response Assistance, and the Disaster Response Management Bureau of the Department of Social Welfare and Development will be integrated.
Once implemented, the DDR would be an institutionalized agency coordinating the national response to disasters and emergencies, replacing the ad-hoc and primary secretariat-type work of the current National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDDRMC).
In his SONA in July, Duterte called on Congress to pass DDR to ensure the safety of Filipinos during disasters.
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