Monday, January 13, 2014

COOP NATCCO PARTYLIST REPS SEEK HAZARD MITIGATION FOR LGUs





COOP NATCCO Partylist Reps. Anthony Bravo  and Cresente Paez are seeking the establishment of a "Pre-Disaster Hazard Mitigation Enhancement Program" that would provide grants to local government units (LGUs) to assist their hazard mitigation strategies that save lives and improve the structural integrity of property affected by natural disasters.


Rep. Bravo, the principal author of House Bill 2945, with Rep. Paez, as co-author, proposed "Pre-Disaster Hazard Mitigation Enhancement Program Act," and said that the measure would provide LGUs with funds. 


These funds will be for projects that have direct, on-the-ground impact for residents of low to moderate income homes, and also the less-addressed population of apartment residents and small business owners.


To qualify for the grant, an LGU shall submit an application to the Secretary of National Defense in accordance with regulations issued by the public official not later than six months after the effectivity of the proposed Act, according to Bravo.


"The eligible LGU must have a mitigation plan approved by the DND Secretary, implements public awareness campaigns to encourage improvements in structures to mitigate hazards relating to national disasters, and takes steps to encourage mitigation actions with respect to repetitive loss structures within the LGU's jurisdiction," said Bravo, who is also vice chairman of the House Committee on reforestation.


House Bill 2945 provides that an LGU that receives a grant shall carry out any repair, construction, renovation or retrofit assisted by such grant.  


This shall be in accordance with the following:  applicable standards of safety and sanitation; applicable codes, specifications and standards of the National Building Code; and safe land use and construction practice standards. 


The bill further provides that of the amount appropriated for making grants in a fiscal year, the DND Secretary shall require eligible LGUs to allocate:  


50% of the grant amounts to programs that address mitigation needs of single family housing units; 30% of the grant amounts to programs that address the mitigation needs of multi-family housing units and residential rental dwelling units; 20% of the grant amounts to programs that address the mitigation needs of small business.


The bill is now pending at the House committee on national defense and security, chaired by Rep. Rodolfo Biazon (Lone District, Muntinlupa) provides that the funds needed for the initial implementation of the proposed Act shall be charged against the DND budget.  


After that, such amount shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act (GAA) as a distinct and separate item.(END).


By Rowena B. Bundang
      Media Relations Service-PRIB  

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