THE two strong earthquakes that recently rocked the country have thrust out front the need for the Senate to pass the bill seeking to create the Department of Disaster and Resilience (DDR).
Tingog party-list first nominee Yedda Marie K. Romualdez called on the Senate to fast-track the passage of the DDR bill when Congress resumes its session on May 20 after the May 13 elections.
Now Leyte 1st District solon, Romualdez is chair of the House accounts committee and wife of ex-Rep. Martin Romualdez, a lawyer who heads the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa).
The lady lawmaker said the proposed DDR would help drastically reduce, if not totally eliminate, red tape that has caused many delays in the delivery of assistance to disaster and calamity victims.
Romualdez, a registered nurse, is one of the principal sponsors of the DDR measure that the House of Representatives approved on third and final reading last year.
She underscored the importance of approving the proposed legislation before the 17th Congress ends this June.
Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte, another principal author of the DDR bill, also joined Romualdez in urging the senators to act with a similar sense of urgency in approving the Senate version of the measure.
Villafuerte said the proposed DDR “will better equip the government” in dealing with natural disasters at a time when the problem of climate change continues to worsen.
Since it is located in the so-called “Pacific Ring of Fire,” the Philippines is often rocked by earthquakes. In addition, this impoverished nation is a favorite “sparring partner” of typhoons and storms.
Every year, an average of 20 storms batters the country, claiming the lives of people and destroying billions of pesos worth of agricultural crops and property not only in the metropolis but elsewhere.
Thus, the senators have no choice but to approve the proposed DDR law when they resume their session next month.