Press Release
October 7, 2011


Senator Ramon Bong Revilla, Jr. has called for a Senate inquiry on the actual measures being implemented by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) to reduce damage to properties and people's vulnerabilities during disasters.

According to the senator, it is necessary to verify if the mitigation plan set by NDRRMC is being fully carried out by the concerned government agencies. He said that as a multi-agency council, member-agencies of NDRRMC have their own critical roles for the fulfilment of the council's vision, which is to make every Filipino community safer, adaptive and disaster-resilient towards its sustainable development and to encourage an effective public awareness campaign on disaster risk reduction and management.

 "We want to make sure that they are on the right path to achieve that vision. This is in aid of legislation. Let us see if additional legislative measure is needed to further strengthen our disaster readiness," said Bong Revilla, co-author of Republic Act 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010.

In relation to this, the senator filed Senate Resolution 616 directing the Senate Committees on Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Natural Resources, as well as his committee, the Senate Committee on Public Works, to conduct an investigation, on the natural disaster preparedness and readiness of NDRRMC. He said the senate inquiry must be wide-ranging and should tackle every aspect of disaster risk reduction and management, including NDRRMC's pre-disaster strategy.

"We want to make sure that what is being implemented on the ground is not only reactive but also proactive. Aside from the disaster response capabilities let's look deeper into the damage and casualty reduction measures." explained Bong Revilla, who earlier urged the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to make sure that new, reconstructed and repaired infrastructures in the Philippines are built with high standard materials that can withstand the impact of Climate Change.

The lawmaker also pointed out that the mitigation plan must be strictly executed both on the national and local levels. He cited the observation of former UN Center for Regional Development Officer Rajob Shaw that efforts to change the mindset of the people is among the setbacks of the calamity management in the Philippines. During the recent United Nations Settlement Program (UN-Habitat)'s 6th Asian City Journalists Conference (ACJC) in Japan, Shaw, who is presently a professor of the International Environmental and Disaster Management Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies at the Kyoto University, said Filipinos were "stubborn" and would refuse to abandon their houses and belongings even in the face of death.

"A consistent information dissemination campaign in the localities on disaster risk reduction and management would change the refusal of residents to evacuate their homes immediately when disaster warning is raised. There must be a public awareness drive in the communities even if there is no impending calamity," Bong Revilla added.

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