Phivolcs integration into DDR urged

Friday, November 08, 2019 11:19 PM    Views : 87by:The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Serious concerns arising from the recent earthquakes and continuing aftershocks in Mindanao warrant the full integration of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) into the proposed Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR), according to a lawmaker.

Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, principal author of the DDR bill, said the events that followed the Mindanao tremors showed lack of preparedness among all agencies concerned.

“Diffused, uncoordinated assistance responses by state actors clearly require continuous information, education and communications of risk assessments and scenario projections which can best be built into the DDR framework. Tasked as the principal agency to plan, organize, direct and oversee programs to reduce risks, warn, respond and provide relief, recovery and rehabilitation initiatives, the DDR can better perform organized responses,” Salceda said.

“Among others, we need Phivolcs for risk assessment, vulnerability reduction and integrated response,” he added.

The House passed the DDR proposal in the 17th Congress but it failed to make it through the Senate as it was overtaken by the 2018 elections.

Salceda has refiled the measure in the 18th Congress as House Bill 30, with President Duterte endorsing the creation of the DDR.

As conceived, the DDR will “guarantee unity of command and science-based approach to natural hazards and human-induced disasters,” Salceda said.

He added the country would have a stronger capability to confront the threats of disasters once the DDR measure is approved.

Twin earthquakes hit Tulunan, Cotabato on Oct. 29 and 31, leaving 16 people dead and 400 others injured. The temblors also damaged some 3,220 infrastructures, sending thousands of people out of their homes and buildings in shock and panic.


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