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Rep. of typhoon-hit Dinagat Islands wants reforms in disaster management

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DINAGAT ISLANDS PIO

THE CONGRESSIONAL representative of Dinagat Islands, one of the worst-hit provinces during last year’s strongest typhoon, has called for the passage of legislative reforms to streamline disaster response measures and strengthen capacity across all regions.   

“Simply remembering disasters is not enough, we need to institutionalize our learnings so that we can minimize the future damage typhoons will bring,” Dinagat Islands Rep. Alan 1 B. Ecleo said in a statement on Sunday.   

“We have paid dearly for these lessons, with Ondoy last 2009, Yolanda last 2013, and Super Typhoon Odette just last year.” 

Mr. Ecleo said changes in the disaster management system — from response to rehabilitation — are needed so that affected local government units can have easier and faster access to resources before and after every calamity.  

He noted that provinces and regions have different levels of capacity to respond and rebuild, which contributes to disparity in terms of disaster resilience and economic development.  

Small and poor provinces must be equipped in terms of infrastructure and agriculture, as they are more vulnerable to climate-related disasters, he said.  

“We cannot keep rebuilding the same projects over and over,” he said. “The design and architecture of buildings, especially public ones, must be updated to account for the increased frequency and intensity of typhoons.” 

On September 13, the committee on Basic Education and Culture passed House Resolution 289, filed by Mr. Ecleo, which directed agencies to enter into an agreement for the establishment and implementation of disaster resilient master design and architectural plans for all primary and secondary schools in coastal areas. — Kyanna Angela Bulan

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