NDRRMC powers clipped?
MANILA - The appointment of former senator Panfilo Lacson as “rehabilitation czar” for Yolanda-ravaged regions may have clipped the powers of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
Created under Republic Act No. 10121, the NDRRMC has been vested with the power to strengthen the country’s disaster mitigation response as well as rehabilitation activities.
Section five of RA 10121 assigned the tasks of disaster preparedness as well as rehabilitation efforts to heads of different agencies including the Department of National Defense, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Science and Technology, and the National Economic and Development Authority. The NEDA director general is specifically tasked to oversee rehabilitation and recovery.
Council members include the heads of the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Energy, Department of Finance, Department of Transportation and Communications, Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Tourism (DOT), the executive secretary, and the Office of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).
Also part of the council are the chairman of the Commission of Higher Education (CHED), the chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the press secretary, the secretary-general of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) along with local government units.
Prior to his appointment as rehabilitation czar, Lacson was earlier reported being groomed to lead an agency that would go after crooks in the government.
“An executive order must be issued first by President Aquino before his appointment as rehabilitation czar. The President should also create an office with specific function in order to avoid duplication of functions,” a defense legal expert said.
“As of now, it’s not yet clear what role the NDRRMC will play. What’s his role? Presidential adviser with a cabinet rank?”
But he stressed that once all legal issues regarding Lacson’s appointment are settled, Cabinet secretaries are required to extend their full cooperation to the former senator.