President Rodrigo Duterte’s last State of the Nation Address (SONA) has sufficiently addressed disaster resiliency, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said, lauding the inclusion of his pet bills in the administration’s legislative priorities.
In a statement, Go expressed appreciation to the Chief Executive over his support to three of his authored bills which he said were targeted to address natural and human-induced disasters affecting the country.
These are Senate Bill (SB) 205 or the Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR), SB 1228 or the “Mandatory Evacuation Center Act” and Senate Bill No. 1832 or the “Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Modernization Bill”.
“The President and I have the same advocacies. That’s why I thanked him for mentioning some of my priority bills during his final SONA,” the senator said.
“President Duterte understands that Filipinos are facing various crises every year. The government should be prepared to protect the public from these unforeseen circumstances,” he added.
Duterte urged Congress to pass his priority bills, including the proposed disaster resiliency and economic legislation.
Go, then, called on his fellow lawmakers to unite and continue extending support to the proposed measures.
The House of Representatives, on September 2020, passed a bill establishing the DDR, but its counterpart bill is still pending at the committee level in the Senate.
Meanwhile, the BFP bill was sent back to the bicameral conference committee after the senator rejected a controversial provision that allowed firefighters to carry short firearms during emergencies.
Other proposed measures mentioned during the SONA are SB No. 1419 or the Unified System for Separation, Retirement, and Pension of the Military and Uniformed Personnel (MUP); SB 393, which seeks to provide free legal assistance to Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines personnel; SB 1738 or the “E-Governance Bill”; SBN 2158, which seeks to establish a Center for Disease Control and Prevention or the Philippine CDC; SBN 2155, or the “Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines Bill”; and the creation of the Department of Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos.