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Disaster officials are urged to research US FEMA’s best practices.

In an effort to increase the government’s responsiveness to citizens’ demands in the immediate wake of catastrophes, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Tuesday urged Philippine disaster experts to research the “best practices” of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The Department of Homeland Security’s FEMA agency is largely responsible for coordinating the response to disasters that have happened in the US.

According to Marcos, employing FEMA as a model will help the Philippines’ government respond to disasters faster and with less bureaucracy.

“So that level of power…

In a meeting with disaster officials at the Malacaan Palace, Marcos stated that “basta’t pag (as long as there is a) calamity, within a day or two, hopefully within a day, pasok na sila (they’re there) and they’ll see what’s going on and then report back to us and start with the assessment.”

They can immediately begin calling the other agencies “pagka they assess (After they assess) on the ground…

Yeh, yun lang habol ko.

That is what I’m aiming for: Yung mabilis, para más mabilis. We must complete it swiftly),” he continued.

Marcos stated that he wanted disaster organizations to have the authority to assist in the immediate distribution of government funding following an immediate assessment and report release in place of going through a time-consuming bureaucratic process.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will then issue a report saying, “We need this.” and they will then possess authority… They would be given the power by the OP [Office of the President], he claimed.

He also emphasized the necessity of beginning repair and restoration as soon as problems are discovered.

It should be urgent in the local government unit since people have nowhere to stay and nothing to eat, he added. “I’m just trying to parang madaliin kasi ‘pag (speed things up) because if) you are in that condition sa LGU lahat urgent kasi ‘yung tao walang matitirahan, walang makain,” he said.

In an effort to streamline bureaucratic red tape and enhance the nation’s catastrophe response, Marcos proposed on November 8 that the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) be placed under the OP.

Additionally, he voiced his support for Senator Imee Marcos’ proposal to modernize NDRRMC rather than establish a new department by giving it greater authority under the OP and a larger budget.

The suggestion that the new NDRRMC be modeled after FEMA, whose main goal is disaster planning and response, was made by the older Marcos.

The nation’s top governing and authorized body for disaster risk reduction and management is the NDRRMC.

The NDRRMC was established in 2010 as a result of Republic Act 10121 and is made up of delegates from various public, private, civic, and non-profit organizations.

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