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Pacquiao wants 'super-agency' for disaster resilience, climate change policies

Presidential aspirant and Senator Manny Pacquiao on Tuesday suggested the creation of a “super-agency” which will manage not only the country’s disaster response and disaster resilience but also the government’s climate change policies.

The lawmaker made the suggestion in place of the proposed upgrading of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) into a full-blown executive department.

According to Pacquiao, there should be integration between the proposed Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR) and the Climate Change Commission to “ensure perceptive and proactive government action on all forms of disasters, natural or otherwise.”

The lawmaker noted that the strong typhoons that hit the Mindanao as well as Palawan indicate a shifting climate pattern that should “prompt the government to reassess its disaster resilience and disaster adaptation strategies.”

“I grew up in Mindanao and we never really experienced strong typhoons. Biyaya para sa aming mga taga-Mindanao ang tubig. Ngayon lang talaga namin nararanasan ang mga ganitong kalalakas na mga bagyo,” Pacquiao said.

(Rainwater is considered a blessing for the people in Mindanao. We only experienced this kind of strong typhoons recently.)

He further noted that the climate change caused by global warming has turned Mindanao into a “typhoon alley” from November to December.

The presidential aspirant suggested planting more trees as he blamed the country’s vulnerability to strong typhoons to illegal logging and mining operations.

Furthermore, Pacquiao also observed the government’s primary disaster response arm, the NDRRMC, is only equipped for response but not in the creation of long-term disaster adaptation strategies.

This shows the need to include climate change adaptation in the proposed DDR as part of its primary mandate, he said.

There are bills which have been filed in Congress seeking the creation of the DDR, one of President Rodrigo Duterte’s legislative agenda.

Pacquiao authored one of the bills pending in Congress which seeks to create the Department of Disaster Risk Reduction and Management.—AOL, GMA News