Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced that Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea will lead “Build Back Better Task Force,” a new task force on typhoon-related responses created by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Roque said an executive order is now in the works that would create the task force, which is envisioned to be a “more permanent body” that will focus on “post-disaster rehabilitation and recovery of typhoon-hit areas” while a proposed “Department of Disaster Resilience” is not yet in place.

The typhoon task force will likely include the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), National Irrigation Administration (NIA), National Housing Authority (NHA), and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

Roque reiterated that the task force would not duplicate the functions of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). The main difference of the new body, he said, is it’s headed by the Executive Secretary, “no less than the closest alter ego of the President.”

“Obviously, the council (NDRRMC) is not enough. I guess the task force is really to stress that someone needs to be in charge, and the person in charge is the Executive Secretary, with the full assistance of the Cabinet,” Roque added.

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