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Disaster preparedness tops Cabinet agenda

MALACANANG, Philippines – Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said national disaster risk reduction topped the agenda in the July 11 Cabinet meeting.
Prioritizing security personnel and health workers to be sent as first responders to calamity damaged areas were among those areas considered, Abella said during a press briefing in Malacanang on Tuesday.
“There were also plans to preposition ships in a safe place like the path of typhoons to readily respond to crisis, as well as relocation for those often affected by flooding especially those in the informal sector,” he said.
On other issues, Abella said the Department of Labor and Employment has committed to reduce contractualization within six months, while the Department of Trade and Industry is poised to reduce the number of days for registering a business to three days or ideally one day.
The President has directed all agencies to cut red tape and stop people from queuing in government offices by shifting to an appointment-based system in processing requirements, Abella said.
In solving the traffic problem, Abella told mediamen that Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade has informed the President that “they have the menu of changes which could very positively impact the rate of traffic flow,” adding that the public will feel the changes within the first 100 days of the new administration.
On the proposed national ID system, Abella amplified the clamor by the business sector during a consultative conference in Davao, saying “Apparently, it will facilitate better business processes and everything.”
“Everybody is entitled to his own politics but at the end of the day, we all agree to work for the common good,” said Abella, when asked if the President has plans to talk to some of his Cabinet members who are tagged as leftists and who earlier expressed they were not in favor of the national ID.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.