Tumulak wants DRRMOs placed under DILG

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio October 15,2019 - 06:05 PM

Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak. | Delta Dyrecka Letigio

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Local Government Units like Cebu City should no longer be burdened with the task of disaster risk reduction and management planning.

Councilor Dave Tumulak said that a separate agency should be created to focus on disaster preparedness and mitigation to enhance the country’s preparation against calamities.

Tumulak said that a body like the Department of Disaster Resilience should be in place to handle this concerns. But he wanted the department placed under the direct supervision of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to ensure better coordination with the LGUs.

“I will fully support the bill for (the creation of) a Department of Disaster Resilience but it would be more effective if it (the department) will be under the DILG,” Tumulak said.

“Dapat lahi ang DRRMO sa LGU. Under gihapon siya da DILG pero lahi siya nga component aron mo focus ra gyod ang DRRMO sa disaster. Focus ra gyod sila dinha, dili na sila mahilabtan sa LGU,” he said.

(DRRMO should be separate from the LGU.  This will still be placed under the DILG but separate from the LGUs so that the DRRMO will focus on disaster (response and preparedness). The LGUs should no longer be burned with that responsibility.)

The House of Representatives already passed on third and final reading a measure for the creation of the Department of Disaster Resilience, the national government agency that is primarily responsible for disaster preparedness, prevention, mitigation, response, recovery, and rehabilitation.

But Senate is yet to pass their version of the proposed measure which is a legislative priority of the Duterte administration.

Tumulak said that he already brought to the attention of senators Ralph Recto and Cynthia Villar his proposal to have a DRMMO that will be placed under DILG.  The two senators promised to study the matter.

He said that having an effective disaster risk reduction and management office (DRRMO) was the reason why Japan was able to immediately deploy disaster personnel to rescue families that were left stranded during the onslaught of Typhoon Hagibis and conduct a massive search and retrieval operation for those who either went missing or died when the typhoon hit early this week.

During his recent visit to Japan, Tumulak said he saw the country’s well organized execution of their disaster management techniques.

Tumulak left Cebu on October 11 to attend the Asian Smart Cities Network High Level Meeting that was held in Yokohama, Japan.  He was among the several other Philippine representatives who were left stranded when Typhoon Hagibis hit Japan on Saturday, October 12. He managed to return to Cebu on Monday, October 14.

Japan, he said, had well-trained and well-managed rescuers.  Concerned agencies were also able to immediately coordinate to respond to the needs of affected residents.

Tumulak said that the system can also be replicated in the country especially in Cebu City.

But a problem normally occurs when there is a change in administration. Disaster personnel are immediately replaced with new ones.

He said that if DRRMOs are placed under the direct supervision of the DILG, disaster personnel can be retained irregardless of changes in the LGUs leadership. Coordination among LGUs and with other government agencies can also be made faster.

Although a separate agency, DRRMOs will still be able to effectively coordinate with the LGUs, Tumulak said.

Until the needed law is passed, Tumulak said that the Cebu City government will have to continue to pass legislation that will strengthen its disaster preparedness. / dcb

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TAGS: Department of Disaster Resilience, DILG, DRRMOs, Japan, LGUs, Tumulak, Typhoon Hagibis

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