Malacañang released Executive Order (EO) No. 120 on November 18, 2020, creating a “Build Back Better Task Force” for post-disaster rehabilitation and recovery efforts in areas affected by successive typhoons.
Under EO 120, which President Rodrigo Duterte signed on November 18, 2020, the task force will expedite and lead the preparation, implementation, and monitoring of a post-disaster rehabilitation and recovery program for typhoon-affected areas.
It will also be in charge of ensuring availability and adequacy of key lifelines such as basic needs, medical services, electricity, water, telecommunication and transportation that can be mobilized immediately after the typhoon.
In signing the EO, Duterte recognized that the current and future Disaster Recovery and Rehabilitation demands and the realities in the bureaucratic framework warrant a high-level institutional platform and a more permanent body that will allow the national government to work in a sustained and integrated manner, with a clear unity of command, during a typhoon’s post-disaster recovery and rehabilitation phase.
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu will be the chair of the task force while Public Works Secretary Mark Villar will be co-chair.
Members of the task force include the chairperson of National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and secretary of Defense; secretaries of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, National Economic and Development Authority, Transportation, Interior and Local Government, Energy, Trade and Industry, Agriculture, Budget and Management, Finance, Education, Health, Social Welfare and Development, Labor and Employment, and Science and Technology; and General Manager of the National Housing Authority.
Administrators of the Land Registration Authority; Local Water Utilities Administration; National Electrification Administration; National Irrigation Administration; Philippine Coconut Authority; and Chair of the Cooperative Development Authority will also be among the members.
The NDRRMC, with the Office of Civil Defense with its implementing arm, will continue to pursue its mandates in all thematic areas of the DRRM system for other natural and human-induced disasters.
The task force may designate heads to lead recovery and rehabilitation efforts of the national government in a specific typhoon-affected area or region, without prejudice to the President’s prerogative to make such designations.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine Coast Guard, and other uniformed personnel are directed to provide logistical and technical assistance in the rehabilitation and recovery efforts.
The task force must submit to the President, through the Executive Secretary, a quarterly report on the implementation of the order and publish and annual report on its accomplishments, including projects and programs implemented and budget utilized.
All government agencies, including government -owned and -controlled corporations and government financial institutions as well as state universities and colleges are directed and LGUs are enjoined to provide necessary support and assistance to the task force.
Funding of the program will be sourced from existing appropriations of the member-agencies of the task force, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund and other funding sources. (Azer Parrocha, PNA)