Dec 182014
Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery Panfilo Lacson on Thursday proposed the transfer of post-disaster rehabilitation duties currently being handled by his office to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

In a statement, Lacson pointed out that his office’s mandate “only covers Yolanda-affected areas,” so it cannot extend rehabilitation efforts to those newly affected by Typhoon Ruby.

“It dawned on me that a permanent agency should be equipped to handle all functions related to preparedness, recovery and rehabilitation since we are a typhoon-prone country,” Lacson said.

He added that his office already has a “transition plan” to allow the NDRRMC to take over rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts.

Lacson said it is the “perfect time” to expand the NDRRMC’s functions, because the law creating the council, Republic Act 10121, is set for review next year.

“Having OPARR transition its accomplishments and best practices to the relevant government agencies by 2015 during the review period will also aid Congress in identifying the required remedial legislation to make the Philippines’ response & recovery from disasters faster & more efficient,” he said.

A month after Yolanda struck central Philippines last year, President Benigno Aquino III appointed Lacson as presidential assistant to oversee the reconstruction of areas affected by the super typhoon.

Last October, Aquino approved a master plan prepared by Lacson’s office to rebuild areas hit by Yolanda.

Yolanda cut a swath of devastation across central Philippines, leaving 6,300 people dead and displacing over 1.4 million families. Andreo Calonzo/KBK, GMA News

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