By Armando Fenequito
DAVAO CITY – Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go is urging his colleagues in the Senate to hasten the passage of the bill creating the Department of Disaster Resilience.
Go made his appeal in an interview on Friday here after his visit to fire victims in Bangkerohan district. He said the creation of the new department has become an urgent matter given the latest string of calamites to hit the country.
“Sana po ay bilisan na natin ito. Nanawagan na po sa aking mga kapwa Senador na huwag na nating hintayin pa na magkaroon pa ng mga lindol, pagputok ng bulkan, bagyo (I hope we will fast track this. I am now calling on other senators not to wait for another earthquake, volcanic eruption and typhoons before we act),” he said.
He said the bill was still under discussion with the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security being chaired by Sen. Panfilo Lacson.
Go said it was about time for a separate department that will have a cabinet position for a more proactive response in times of disaster.
He added that if the person in-charge of this department has a cabinet position, the other secretaries will also respect him since they have the same position.
“Kung bibigyan lang po natin ng manager lang tapos ang position hindi pang-cabinet level, hindi rerespetuhin (If we just appoint a manager that has no cabinet position, that person will not be respected),” he said.
Go said if the new department will be created, its head could also immediately act on emergency situations by coordinating with the different departments and offices for monitoring and actions.
The head of this department will also be the one to coordinate with the concerned local government units hit by a certain disaster.
The senator said he will push this in the Senate because this was also among the priority legislation enumerated by President Duterte in his State of the Nation Address last year.