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Task force to oversee rehab, recovery in calamity areas

Roy Cimatu
Roy Cimatu

THE creation of a task force that will oversee the rehabilitation and recovery of areas ravaged by typhoons is a testament to the present administration’s commitment to the fight against climate change.

According to Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, the creation of this body shows how central the imperatives of climate change are to the Duterte administration.

Cimatu along with Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar has been designated by the Chief Executive to head the “Build Back Better Task Force” under Executive Order (EO) 120.

He said the Duterte administration has once again shown its full commitment to fight climate change and its devastating impacts with the creation of the new task force.

Cimatu also chairs the Cabinet Cluster on Climate Change Adaptation, Mitigation and Disaster Risk Reduction.

“With the DENR and DPWH at the helm of this very important body, the President has walked the fine line between giving immediate responses to disasters and the urgency of giving long-term measures on climate change adaptation and resiliency,” the environment chief said.

Aside from two departments, all government agencies—including government-owned or -controlled corporations and government financial institutions, as well as state universities and colleges and LGUs—were ordered to provide the necessary support and assistance to the task force.

Among its other duties, the task force was assigned to expedite and lead the preparation, implementation and monitoring of a Post-Disaster Rehabilitation and Recovery Program for typhoon-affected areas aligned with the Rehabilitation and Recovery Planning Guide (RRPG).

RRPG provides an overall framework and planning reference that helps local government units (LGUs) and national government agencies formulate their plans for post-disaster rehabilitation and recovery.

Under EO 120, the DENR will provide secretariat support to the task force with existing personnel from member-agencies composed of nearly all national government agencies.

The DPWH, on the other hand, will ensure that infrastructures built in areas affected by typhoons are “climate resilient.”