Arroyo to create House disaster management committee
MANILA, Philippines – Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is planning to establish a new committee on disaster management at the House of Representatives.
The former president turned Pampanga 2nd District representative said this at the beginning of lawmakers’ briefing with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Monday, July 30.
“In as much as the President is prioritizing the disaster management bill and usually there is a mirror committee in the House for all the departments being created, I have asked my colleagues in the majority, including these two ladies, if they would agree to organizing a new committee for disaster management,” said Arroyo.
She was referring to Bataan 1st District Representative Geraldine Roman and Zambales 2nd District Representative Cheryl Deloso Montalla, who were seated beside her during the meeting.
Arroyo had set a meeting with the NDRRMC to review the government’s disaster relief plan for 10 districts legislators have identified to be badly hit by recent heavy rains and flooding. (READ: First on Arroyo’s agenda: Ratify Bangsamoro law, aid to calamity victims)
The planned disaster management panel is also expected to tackle the bills seeking to create the Department of Disaster Management, a measure President Rodrigo Duterte said he wants Congress to prioritize during his first 3 State of the Nation Addresses.
Records from the House’s official website says the Department of Disaster Management bills remain pending at the committee on government reorganization since July 2016.
Other lawmakers present during the NDRRMC briefing are expected to comprise the membership of the planned committee on disaster management. Apart from Roman and Montalla, they are as follows:
- Bataan 2nd District Representative Jose Enrique Garcia III
- Pangasinan 2nd District Representative Leopoldo Bataoil
- Nueva Ecija 1st District Representative Estrellita Suansing
- Bulacan 1st District Representative Jose Sy-Alvarado
Officials from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Health, National Housing Authority, National Food Authority, and the Office of the Civil Defense were also present during the meeting.
On Monday, NDRRMC executive director Ricardo Jalad told lawmakers that Tropical Storm Henry, Severe Tropical Storm Inday, and Tropical Depression Henry affected about 454,000 families. Damage to infrastructure and agriculture amounted to P3.6 billion.
According to Jalad, 13 people died, one remained missing, and two were injured.
Last week, Arroyo conducted relief operations in Sasmuan, Pampanga and Dinalupihan, Bataan, two of the areas hardest hit by the calamities. – Rappler.com