Statement on the death of five rescuers

Photo from the official Facebook page of Batang Malolos (

It’s unfortunate to hear that the casualties of Typhoon Karding happen to be personnel of the provincial disaster risk reduction and management office (PDRRMO) conducting rescue missions. Physical hazards are more prevalent and dangerous in doing their job than others.

In times of disaster, we need our first responders to be well-equipped and well-trained. This incident should be an eye-opener on the need to consider an agency or department in charge of disaster response to oversee not only the needs of the public but the management of personnel.

We’re hoping that the Executive Branch will take a second look at the proposed bills calling for the creation of a Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR) or consider pursuing an agency on this matter.

Under Senate Bill No. 791, I have included a provision giving the proposed DDR the authority to prescribe benefits, allowances, and other similar emoluments for disaster management professionals and disaster resilience officers at the national and local levels.

Maaaring maiwasan natin sa darating na panahon ang mga ganitong pangyayari kung ang ating mga first responders ay may mga sapat na kagamitan, kasanayan at koordinasyon sa mga kinauukulan habang tinutupad nila ang kanilang mga tungkulin at sila din ay nabigyan ng kaukulang tulong. Umaasa tayo na ang mga naulila nila ay hindi pababayaan ng mga kinauukulan at mabibigyan ng kaukulang pagkilala at ayuda.