A HOUSE leader on Sunday came to the defense of the Duterte administration, branding as “unfair” criticisms by various groups that government officials have been allegedly missing in responding to the needs of the people in areas leveled by destructive Supertyphoon Rolly and Typhoon Ulysses.
San Jose del Monte City Rep. Florida “Rida” P. Robes, chairperson of the House committee on people participation, said “now is not the time to criticize the government, but to stay united to help typhoon victims.”
“It is deeply disheartening that despite the many problems being faced by our country, some have used it to criticize and advance their own political and personal interests. Our difficulties are enormous, our challenges are unprecedented,” said Robes.
“Many of our countrymen need urgent help. They need our support and assistance at this time. Now is not the time to make condemnation. Now is the time to act and do whatever we can to help our distressed countrymen. Let us take the best road for our countrymen. Let us step up to help our fellow Filipinos in need!” Robes added.
Many people took to social media to ask about President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte’s whereabouts as Ulysses wreaked havoc and questioned the seeming lackadaisical attitude of the government in responding to the needs of the people.
Rolly was considered the world’s strongest this 2020 and Ulysses that left scores of people dead and millions affected in the island of Luzon.
Atty. Barry Gutierrez, Vice President Leni Robredo’s spokesman, said leaders should be seen and felt in times of crisis.
House Deputy Majority Leader and Bagong Henerasyon party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera pressed anew the Senate to pass the bill creating the Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR) after the devastation brought to the country by succeeding strong typhoons.
“We hope our good senators will take a second look at the significance of the DDR bill which the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved on third and final reading last September,” Herrera said.
“We can minimize the loss of life and damage to property if we create a single, permanent agency that will bring better disaster preparedness and efficient delivery of government services during calamities,” Herrera added.
The House leader also allayed concerns raised by some senators about the funding requirements of the DDR bill considering that the creation of a new agency would mean another cost or expense for the national government, especially during this time of pandemic.