OF THE PHILIPPINES                                             )
_________ Regular Session                                        )

S.B. No. __________

Introduced by Senator Ferdinand R Marcos Jr


The provinces of Bohol, Cebu and in recent past, Negros Oriental, Philippines suffered massive, extremely dangerous earthquakes. Such disasters left deep, indelible imprints on the national psyche and upon people all over the world thus the incidents demand our undivided attention.

Pursuant to Section 4, Article II of 1987 Philippine Constitution providing, “The prime duty of the Government is to serve and protect the people”, the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 (RA 10121) was enacted into law. With this, Philippine DRRM Plan 2011-2028 was adopted to ensure that the government shall establish and strengthen capacities of communities to anticipate, cope and recover from the negative impact of emergency occurrences and disasters. The DILG as the Vice Chair for Preparedness of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) issued a Memorandum Circular No. 2012-79 to implement the Seal of Disaster Preparedness. The aimed at recognizing and incentivizing local governance performance in institutionalizing disaster preparedness, and to assess performance gaps, link gaps to policy or program intervention and monitor improvements on disaster preparedness. In the recent Bohol-Cebu calamity, the resulting effects from the earthquake, are as follows:

1.            Fatalities: more than 218 persons dead
2.            Missing: more than 8 persons unaccounted for as this time
3.            In Bohol lone, more than 120,000 persons displaced and evacuated.
4.            Civilians Injured in Bohol province alone : 760
5.            More than seventy nine (79) designated evacuation centers in Bohol-Cebu were filled to the brim with displaced persons.
6.            Loss and damage to property estimated at more or less in the range of 10 billion pesos with a cost of reconstruction reaching up to 20 billion pesos
Thus said, the recent calamity that hit Bohol and Cebu City resulted in enormous loss to the people in terms of structures. Ground shift, water retreat from the affected areas’ sea lines, these are merely some of the effects of the disaster in Bohol, Cebu and continue to be suffered by the population in Negros Oriental that in recent past also suffered a massive earthquake. Infrastructure damage is estimated at not less than fifteen billion Philippine Pesos (PHP15-B) in all three areas of Bohol, Cebu and Negros. These assessments form part of the early findings only on the overall worth of the destruction brought about by the calamity.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) office in Bohol-Cebu, according to its Officer-in-Charge, Allan Rommel R. Labayog, suffered intense shaking in the PHIVOLCS seismic vault that subsequently damaged the earthquake sensor equipment of Phivolcs in the area. This makes the Phivolcs now handicapped to monitor earthquakes in said area in the immediate future and needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

In paragraph 2, Section 23, Article VI of the Philippine Constitution, it is stated that “in times of war or other national emergency, the Congress may, by law, authorize the President, for a limited period and subject to such restrictions as it may prescribe, to exercise powers necessary and proper to carry out a declared national policy. Unless sooner withdrawn by resolution of the Congress, such powers shall cease upon the next adjournment thereof.” In paragraph 2, Section 26 Article VI it states, that “No bill passed by either House shall become a law unless it has passed three readings on separate days, and printed copies thereof in its final form have been distributed to its Members three days before its passage, except when the President certifies to the necessity of its immediate enactment to meet a public calamity or emergency. Upon the last reading of a bill, no amendment thereto shall be allowed, and the vote thereon shall be taken immediately thereafter, and the yeas and nays entered in the Journal.

And in Section 17, Article XII of the Philippine Constitution, it states that. “In times of national emergency, when the public interest so requires, the State may, during the emergency and under reasonable terms prescribed by it, temporarily take over or direct the operation of any privately-owned public utility or business affected with public interest.”

This proposed bill seeks to put in place a Bohol-Cebu-Negros Rehabilitation Commission (BCNRC) that will be responsible for developing, formulating and implementing a Bohol-Cebu-Negros Rehabilitation and Development Plan at the quickest and soonest possible time. In Negros Oriental, a group, Centre Humanes et Societas, Inc. through its network of organizations in the province, has enjoined the forming of a Standing Conference on Negros Oriental Rehabilitation and Development. This Standing Conference has formulated the comprehensive plan for rehabilitating Negros Oriental in the post-earthquake period and the results of their work will be used in the course of the work of the Commission that is the subject of this Act. This measure emanates from a series of consultations with various stakeholders.  Confident of their noble intentions and breadth of knowledge in the matter involved, the immediate enactment of this proposed measure into law is most fervently enjoined.


The Author: Senator Bongbong Marcos


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