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Palace crafting EO to create task force for typhoon-hit areas

By: Darryl John Esguerra - Reporter / @DJEsguerraINQ - | November 16,2020 - 02:51 PM

Rescuers evacuate an elderly resident from her flooded home in Marikina which was inundated by fllodwaters due to Typhoon Ulysses last week. (Photo by Ted ALJIBE / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang has started crafting an executive order (EO) creating a task force dedicated to disaster preparedness and post-calamity rehabilitation and recovery efforts, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Monday.

This is after President Duterte ordered over the weekend the creation of a task force that will fast-track rehabilitation efforts for those affected by Typhoon Ulysses.

Roque said the body, to be known as the “Build Back Better Task Force”, will be headed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea while the Departments of Agriculture, Public Works and Highways, Budget, and Social Welfare and Development, the National Irrigation Administration, National Electrification Administration, and the National Housing Authority will be among the members.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque. Screenshot from PCOO Facebook video

“This body will have a clear chain of command and a direct mandate to address and monitor the multifarious issues and concerns involved in the rehabilitation and recovery phase of typhoon-affected areas,” Roque said in a televised Palace press briefing.

The creation of the task force was met with criticism, especially since the government already has the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

But Roque appealed to give the plan a chance.

“Ang solusyon talaga diyan ay iyong creation ng Department of Disaster Resilience. Eh hindi pa po lumalabas. So obviously hindi po talaga sapat yung Council (NDRRMC) na gumagana bagamat mayroon tayong Executive Director na si napakagaling na Usec. Jalad,” Roque said.

“I guess the task force really is to stress that someone has to be in charge.  And the person in charge is the Executive Secretary with the full assistance of the Cabinet,” he added.

Parts of Luzon are reeling from the onslaught of back-to-back typhoons—Ulysses and Rolly.

A resident carries his belongings as he makes his way through a flooded street in Marikina City after Typhoon Ulysses whipped parts of Luzon last week. (Photo by Ted ALJIBE / AFP)

Typhoon Ulysses, which left at least 67 people dead, brought massive floods in several regions in Luzon, especially in Metro Manila and Cagayan Valley.

Ulysses also pounded areas that had barely recovered from the rampage of Super Typhoon Rolly earlier this month.

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TAGS: Duterte, EO, Executive Order, NDRRMC, Task Force

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