Poe pushes for stronger calamity response amid pandemic

QUEZON CITY, Oct. 31 (PIA) --Senator Grace Poe is pushing for better response to calamities and swift aid to victims as floods and typhoons hammer the country amid the pandemic, leaving provinces submerged and affected residents flocking to evacuation centers.

"Walang ibang aasahan ang ating mga kababayan sa gitna ng kalamidad kundi ang agarang saklolo ng buong galamay ng gobyerno," said Poe.

The senator earlier filed Senate Bill No. 124 or the "Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management System Act" that advocates for local government units (LGUs) to 'build back better', delimiting their duties from recovering to rebuilding communities to become more resilient to future calamities.

The said bill seeks to reform disaster risk reduction management institutions by establishing the Department of Disaster Resilience and Emergency Assistance and Management that will also consist of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

The Department will be led by its own Secretary who will provide leadership with accountability and steer the country toward becoming disaster-resilient.

Typhoon Quinta left in its wake fishermen still missing in Catanduanes as well as damaged homes and infrastructure in Pola, Oriental Mindoro. Prior to that, typhoon Pepito displaced more than 5,000 people in three regions: Cagayan Valley (Region 2), Calabarzon (Region 4A), and Central Luzon (Region 3).

In Lopez, Quezon alone, Typhoon Pepito affected 1,637 households where more than a thousand families had to leave their homes and stay in evacuation centers.

"Napakahirap para sa mga nagdarahop na pamilya na lumikas sa kani-kanilang tahanan bunsod ng bagyo at sa gitna pa ng pandemya," Poe stressed.

Poe has organized a team of staff and volunteers to dispatch relief packs from her office to affected farmers of Lopez, Quezon through Panday Bayanihan to help sustain them as they await help and recovery.

The farmers lost their crops in the flooding which submerged their barangays in waist-high waters.

Each relief pack handed by Poe's team consisted of five kilos of rice, three cans of corned beef, three cans of meat loaf, noodles and coffee. (PIA NCR)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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