Arroyo sets NDRRMC briefing to review disaster relief plans

Mara Cepeda
Arroyo sets NDRRMC briefing to review disaster relief plans

LeAnne Jazul

The new Speaker of the House distributes relief goods to residents affected by heavy flooding in Sasmuan and Dinalupihan towns in Central Luzon

MANILA, Philippines – Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said she set a meeting with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDDRMC) on Monday, July 30, so lawmakers can review the government’s relief operations for those affected by recent calamities.

This was announced on Friday, July 27 by the Pampanga 2nd District representative in an ambush interview in Dinalupihan in the first district of Bataan, one of 10 districts they identified to be badly hit by the recent heavy flooding.

“On Monday, we’ll have a briefing by the [NDRRMC] on the areas that were hit by the disaster: Pangasinan in Region 1, and then Bataan and Zambales were badly hit. Rizal Region [also]. I think we’ll start with those regions,” said Arroyo. 

As the new Speaker, Arroyo has asked lawmakers to prioritize giving aid to the victims of the recent southwest monsoon enhanced by several tropical storms. (READ: First on Arroyo’s agenda: Ratify Bangsamoro law, aid to calamity victims

She is also pushing for the passage into law of the bill creating the Department of Disaster Management, one of President Rodrigo Duterte’s priority bills during his 3rd State of the Nation Address.

Apart from Dinalupihan, Arroyo also gave relief goods to residents in Sasmuan, a coastal town in her own district in Pampanga. Her area, however, is not among the 10 districts legislators have earlier identified to be heavily affected by the calamities.

On Friday, Arroyo was joined by her longtime friend and political ally Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda, Bataan 1st District Representative Geraldine Roman, and Dinalupihan Mayor Gila Garcia.

In an ambush interview with reporters, the former president said she opposes a “no elections” scenario in 2019 and denied accusations her election as Speaker is a preclude to her rise as prime minister should the government successfully shift to federalism. –

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at or tweet @maracepeda.