Lawmakers oppose Go’s proposal to create disaster resilience agency

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Senators Richard Gordon and Panfilo Lacson on Monday objected to Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go’s proposal to create the Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR), noting that existing government agencies are already performing the mandate of the proposed body.

Lacson brought up the cost in a statement, saying that at least P1.5 billion is needed to set it up and billions more for the salaries, capital outlay and operational expenses.

“It is relatively easy to pass a law creating new departments. But would it be feasible, and will there be proper funding for it?” he said.

“We can see that the newly created departments like the Department of Information and Communications Technology and the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development cannot be properly funded, or at least are not given the appropriate funding to work properly,” Lacson added.

For Gordon, strengthening existing government agencies that have the mandate to respond to calamities would be a better plan of action in terms of disaster resiliency.

“‘Wag na tayo gumawa pa kasi mas makakabawas pa sa pera ng gobyerno. Pagalingin na lang ‘yung mga nandiyan,” he said.

[Let’s not make a new department anymore because it will just reduce government funds. Let’s just strengthen existing agencies.]

Go said he “respects the opinions” of his colleagues but insisted that discussion in the upper chamber is necessary before ruling it out. 

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