DoST, disaster agency differences highlighted

Partner agencies Officials of the Department of Science and Technology are convinced that the creation of Department of Disaster Resilience would greatly help in addressing the country’s vulnerabilities to natural calamities. File Photo

Department of Science and Technology (DoST) Undersecretary for Disaster Reduction and Climate Change Renato Solidum on Wednesday explained the different roles his office and the proposed Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR) will be playing in addressing the country’s vulnerabilities to natural calamities.

This developed as he also said that if ever the proposed DDR will push through, it should be distinctly different from the DoST, noting that science is different from disaster resilience.

In a radio interview, Solidum stressed that while the creation of DDR would help in addressing disaster management in the Philippines, the DoST and the proposed office should instead work as partner agencies.

“We wanted to be separated from the DDR because science is different from information dissemination,” Solidum said.

“The DDR will also be an implementing agency aside from a coordinating agency, so their focus is to really implement programs like community-based preparedness,” he added.

Solidum also pointed out that there should really be a government agency that will look into “managing the disaster” before and after it happens.

“What we need right now is an agency that will manage things on or before any disaster strikes,” noted Solidum.

“There should be management on disaster risks to ensure that fatalities will be low and the damage that may be sustained can be minimal,” he explained.

Solidum also said necessary information must be collected during calamities so that there will be basis in addressing the disaster.

To recall, the House of Representatives last 18 October approved on third and final reading a bill seeking to establish the DDR.

This came after President Rodrigo Duterte said during his third State of the Nation Address that there is a need to undertake initiatives to reduce the country’s vulnerabilities to natural hazards.

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