PBBM wants faster disaster response

Residents trapped inside a gym in the town of Upi in Maguindanao province, southern Philippines, which was flooded after heavy rains brought about by tropical storm Nalgae. – Landslides and flooding killed 13 people as heavy rain from approaching tropical storm Nalgae lashed the southern Philippines on October 28, a disaster official said. Photo by Handout / REMAR PABLO / AFP

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. wants disaster officials to study the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to learn its best practices for disaster management
FEMA, an agency under the Department of Homeland Security, primarily coordinates the response to a disaster that has occurred in the US.

The Chief Executive proposed this in a meeting in Malacañang on Tuesday, where he discussed with officials from the Official of the Civil Defense the primary agenda of which is to make the government more responsive to people’s needs in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.

Marcos earlier broached the placing of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) under the Office of the President (OP) in a bid to provide a quicker response in times of disaster as this will cut the red tape.

During the meeting, the President made a suggestion for government agencies to study the proposal, as he pushed for the creation of a team that will immediately work every time there is an emergency or a disaster.

Marcos referred to the delays in government response whenever that are disasters and pointed out the gap in granting authority to government agencies.

“So that kind of authority and you can…as long as there is a disaster within a day or two, hopefully within a day, they come in and they’ll see what’s going on and then report back to us and start with the assessment,” Marcos said.

“When they assess on the ground, they can already start calling the other agencies…That’s what I want, a fast response,” he added.

The idea, according to the President, is to avoid the circuitous bureaucratic process and give agencies the authority to respond quickly and facilitate the immediate release of government funds.

Under the proposed setup, a team, composed of different agencies, including the military, will go to the disaster area, make an assessment and come up with a report.

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