Strict bidding process blamed for inability to execute disaster plans

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A strict bidding process is being blamed for the failure of officials in Iloilo province to execute their disaster preparedness plans, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said.

PDRRMC executive director Jerry Bionat said several factors affect the full implementation of management, financial and investment plans – including the bidding process.

“You cannot pass the budget unless there is an Annual Investment Program. That is mandatory, so you really need to comply,” he said.

Earlier, the Commission on Audit called out the provincial government for its failure to implement about P151.35-million capital outlay for enhancing disaster preparedness and response capabilities “at all levels” in 2018.

COA noted such lack of preparation for the management financial and investment plan resulted in low rate of mitigation and fund utilization.

It added the Capitol failed to implement the continuing capital outlay totaling P151,359,305.40, and non-programming of Special Trust Fund totaling P285,319,232.03.

But Bionat denied audit observations that Capitol’s disaster and management plans were not submitted on time.

He said they are submitting the disaster risk plans two years ahead of every fiscal year and prior to its budget approval.

Also, Bionat proposed amendments to Republic Act No. 10121, the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Act of 2010.

He said they submitted a resolution asking the Senate and Congress to pass and include at least 10 provisions relative to the implementation of RA 10121 .

The level disaster-plan implementations are based on four schematic areas: disaster prevention and mitigation; disaster preparedness; disaster response; and disaster rehabilitation and recovery.

It also includes proper utilization of the local disaster risk fund, particularly on the construction of National DRRM offices, procurement of equipment, supplies, and other supplies.

Among the proposed revisions to RA 10121 are the mandatory creation of Local DRRM offices and the appointment of its officers and staff.

They also must have a mandatory construction or improvement on the structures and facilities of identified local evacuation centers.

It should also have a proper utilization of the local DRRM fund, particularly on the construction of DRRM offices, procurement of DRRM equipment, and supplies.