DEPUTY Speaker and Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte on Monday said the approved bill of the House of Representatives on the creation of the Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR) provides for the mandatory risk insurance of assets and properties of the national government (NG), national government agencies (NGAs), government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) and the local governments units (LGUs).
The measure also calls for the establishment and monitoring of local and national capacity for disaster risk financing insurance and other risk transfer strategies in coordination with the Department of Finance (DOF), the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and the Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank), according to Villafuerte, who is one of the bill’s primary authors.
“There will also be an incentive system for institutions with disaster reduction programs as well as persons or groups recognized for meritorious acts during disasters,” said Villafuerte.
These provisions were among the key features of Villafuerte’s version–House Bill (HB) 398–that were in incorporated in the final version of the DDR bill approved last week by the House.
Under his bill, Villafuerte said the proposed National Disaster Resilience Council (NDRC) “shall establish standards for disaster preparedness, contingency planning, localizing and operationalizing disaster risk and vulnerability reduction and management, preparedness for disaster response, preparedness for early recovery, continuity of essential services, and other relevant preparedness activities.”
Villafuerte’s bill also states that “Unless otherwise provided, the Department shall establish an incentives program that recognizes the outstanding performance” of stakeholders “in promoting and implementing significant disaster risk and vulnerability reduction management-climate change adaptation programs and innovations, and meritorious acts of individuals, groups or institutions during natural or human-induced disasters.”
He said the House-approved version also adopted his proposal to integrate the Climate Change Commission (CCC), National Disaster Risk Reduction (NDRR), People’s Survival Fund (PSF), Yolanda Recovery and Rehabilitation Efforts (YRRE), and Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (OPARR) under the would-be DDR.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Administration (PAGASA); and Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) will be attached to the DDR, he said.
The House earlier approved on third and final reading HB 5989 or the proposed Department of Disaster Resilience Act, which has been identified by President Rodrigo Duterte as a priority measure during his 5th State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA).
Villafuerte called on the Senate to approve soon enough its version of the DDR bill.
The DDR was also approved by the House in the 17th Congress but was not acted upon on time by the Senate.
Under the House-approved version, the DDR will replace the current National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) as the primary government agency responsible for “leading, organizing, and managing the national effort to reduce disaster risk, prepare for and respond to disasters, recover and rehabilitate, and ‘build forward better’ after the occurrence of disasters.”
Under HB 5989, the DDR may impose curfews, preemptive and forced evacuations, and the takeover of any private utility or business subject to payment of just compensation when there is imminent danger of loss of lives, or damage to property.
The DDR is authorized under the bill to recommend to the President the declaration of a state of calamity, whether in whole or part of an area.
HB 5989 also gives the President the power to impose administrative sanctions against local chief executives and barangay officials for willful or negligent acts performed in the implementation of, or compliance with, the proposal and its implementing rules and regulations.