MANILA- House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo wants congressmen to prioritize the creation of a disaster resilience department, a lawmaker said Monday.
Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles said Arroyo called him Sunday regarding the proposed new government agency.
"That takes priority on our agenda," he told ANC's "Headstart."
Nograles said the House Committee on Government Reorganization is currently handling the proposal and is likely to submit it to the appropriations committee for budget plans.
If the proposal gets approved, Nograles said he can re-align funding for the new body.
"I can calendar it for discussion in the middle of the budget hearings. Puwede naman yan eh (That is possible)," he said.
The move comes after President Rodrigo Duterte called on Congress during his third State of the Nation Address to form a body that would focus on risk reduction in times of natural hazards and disasters using a science-based approach.
"We need a truly empowered department characterized by a unity of command, science-based approach, and full-time focus on natural hazards and disasters," Duterte said.
"We in the Cabinet have approved for immediate endorsement to Congress the passage of a law creating the Department of Disaster Management, an inter-agency," he added.