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Supply Chain Risk

Go pushes bills for resilient communities

FOLLOWING a study citing the Philippines as the most disaster-prone country in the world, Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Tuesday renewed his call for a holistic approach to building a more disaster-resilient nation.

In this light, he is working to get his measures passed that will allow the country to deal with calamities, both natural and manmade, more effectively.

With a 46.82 index score, the Philippines had the highest disaster risk according to the World Risk Index.

The index is part of the annual World Risk Report 2022 by Germany-based Bündnis Entwicklung Hilft and the Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict at Ruhr University Bochum, which calculates the disaster risk for 193 countries.

The Philippines’ index score is due to its vulnerability, exposure and high risk to disasters and calamities, the report noted.

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The Philippines was followed by India, Indonesia, Colombia and Mexico. China, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Mozambique and Pakistan were also among the top 10 nations with the highest disaster risk.

Meanwhile, the United Nations recently reported that despite the rise in catastrophic weather and natural disasters, half of the countries in the world lack the sophisticated early warning systems required to save lives.

According to a recent assessment by the UN agencies for weather and disaster risk reduction, countries with weak early warning systems experience eight times more disaster-related deaths than those with effective safeguards.

Taking into account how natural disasters can gravely harm the nation’s economy and put people’s lives in danger, Go refiled Senate Bill (SB) 1181, otherwise known as the “Philippine Building Act of 2022.” It aims to protect people’s lives and mitigate the impact of disasters by setting standards and benchmarks that all buildings and structures must meet with, particularly the recommended structural stability and integrity designed to withstand disasters.

The measure shall provide more effective regulation of planning, design, construction, occupancy, and maintenance of all public and private buildings and structures, promoting building resilience against natural and man-made disasters.

The senator also reintroduced a bill that would require an evacuation center to be established in each city, province and municipality across the country.

SB 193 aims to make sure that families who have been affected by a disaster can seek safety in evacuation centers that are safe and complete with the necessities.

Also, Go refiled SB 188 which shall create the Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR), seeking a highly specialized agency that will be tasked with ensuring adaptive, disaster-resilient and safe communities.

He said the DDR will bring together all essential functions and mandates currently scattered among various disaster-related agencies.

Once established, it shall implement programs, projects and activities that ensure communities are disaster-resilient, adaptive and safe, he added.

To support the DDR’s functions and responsibilities, the measure also provides for the creation of an Integrated Disaster Resilience Information System, which will serve as a database of all relevant disaster risk reduction and climate change information.

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