Press Release
January 1, 2013


Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, PDP Laban President, today urged the Aquino administration to set aside money for the salaries of permanent Disaster Risk Reduction Officers in each city and municipality throughout the country as this would "allow them to fully concentrate on their work in disaster risk prevention and management."

Pimentel pointed out that at present, Disaster Risk Reduction Officers are merely seconded or assigned by their mother units to designated cities or municipalities.

This situation, he said, has resulted in multi-tasking on their part that tends to diffuse their efforts when responding to the needs of victims of calamities."

Last week, in a related move, Pimentel filed a bill seeking to require all local health officers to have mandatory training in the identification of fatalities from natural and human-induced disasters.

In filing Senate Bill 3368 to amend the Local Government Code of 1991, Pimentel noted that in most calamities, many Filipinos not only mourn but also "bear the pain of uncertainty on the fate of their lost family members."

"We hear news reports of mass burials of unidentified persons simply because the government lacked capable professionals to identify dead bodies," said Pimentel in the explanatory note of his bill.

Under SB 3368, Pimentel wants the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and other appropriate government agencies to provide local health officers the mandatory training on the identification of deceased persons.

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