Mobilize youth groups for disaster preparedness – solon

MANILA-- A lawmaker on Monday cited the need to include Filipino youth organizations in the government's disaster risk reduction body following another powerful earthquake that jolted the Leyte province.

In a statement, Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas pushed for the immediate passage of his House Bill 1379 or an Act Including Responsive Empowered and Service-Centered Youth in the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

The said proposal seeks to include the Chairperson of the National Youth Commission (NYC) as a member of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

The bill also proposed that youth organizations registered under the NYC, especially those that specialize in disaster risk reduction and management, shall be tapped by the NDRRMC to assist in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from disasters.??

Vargas highlighted the role of different youth groups that contributed in the rescue and relief operations of the government in times of calamities.

"Our youth sector, specifically, serves as beacons of hope and catalysts of action. Our schools often become depositories of donation and efficient centers for packing and deployment of relief goods. There is never a dearth of willing volunteers," Vargas said.

"It is equally important to include young Filipinos in these activities, evolving discussion and preparation. We need to engage our youth in our quest to build a country that is capable of efficiently responding to natural calamities and of reducing these calamity damages and negative impact on the affected areas in their trying times," he added.

According to Vargas, the NYC Chairperson shall be the voice for the concerns, proposals and interests of the Filipino youth and shall act as a sounding board for the youth, on disaster prevention, promotion education, rescue and rehabilitation, among others.

Aside from recognizing the youth's role in disaster and risk management, Vargas also stressed the need to empower the youth sector with information and skills to help affected communities in times of crisis.?

Under the bill, the mobilization of volunteers shall be in accordance with the guidelines to be formulated by the NDRRMC.

Any volunteer who incurs death or injury while engaged in any of the activities defined under the bill shall be entitled to compensatory benefits and individual personnel accident insurance.

Source: Philippines News Agency