Press Release
December 8, 2013

Trillanes calls for the establishment of Emergency Management Agency

Senator Antonio "Sonny" F. Trillanes IV pushes for the passage of Senate Bill No. 819, the bill establishing an Emergency Management Agency, a permanent, full-time national agency under the Office of the President, which shall replace the existing National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

In a hearing by the Senate committee on National Defense and Security, Trillanes, committee chairman, said that "RA 10121, or the law which created NDRRMC, has its own share of problems. Being under the Department of National Defense, it allocates funds from the small budget slice of DND."

"Also, under the current set up, the Secretary of National Defense serves as the head of NDRRMC. But because of the full-time demand of the National Defense, he can only focus on the NDRRMC during calamities."

Under SBN 819, the proposed EMA would be directly under the Office of the President, enabling it to utilize more resources, and initiate firmer policy actions.

"Unlike NDRRMC which is limited to natural calamities, EMA defines national emergency situations to include man-made disasters like fire, disease outbreak, etc.," Trillanes added.

The EMA shall cover all aspects of emergency situations. The agency will be in charge of formulating policies aimed at reducing the risk of disasters, mitigating possible damage to life and property, initiating rapid and effective response to disasters, and effectively managing post-disaster recovery. The EMA will also be tasked to develop a comprehensive national emergency and disaster preparedness plan.

"Our country, being vulnerable to all sorts of calamities and emergencies, demands that we elevate our disaster preparedness and mitigation response mechanism by creating a permanent, full-time agency such as EMA," Trillanes explained.

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