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CONGRESS NEEDS TO PASS DDR BILL – FORTUN

A Mindanao lawmaker has expressed hope that the measure proposing the creation of a Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR) would be passed in the 18th Congress in the wake of a series of strong quakes struck the country’s southern region.

Agusan del Norte Rep. Lawrence Fortun said the Christmas eclipse, or the last solar eclipse of the year, might be a good sign for the current Congress to approve the priority legislation.

“It so happens that the darkest shadow of this last solar eclipse of 2019 passes over the skies above Mindanao, which has recently experienced many strong earthquakes. The eclipse reminds Congress to make sure the Department of Disaster Resilience becomes real soon,” Fortun said.

“We hope this third try in the 18th Congress will be met with success.”

“Since the 16th Congress, the national legislature has been trying to approve the DDR bill. We hope this third try in the 18th Congress will be met with success and get the bill sent to President Duterte for his signature,” the legislator added.

The lawmaker also pushed for the immediate passage of other nature and science bills, such as sustainable forest management, forest limits, land use, and advanced navigation systems.

“Filipino fishermen and seamen will have Pinoy satellites in space to guide them.”

“To sustain the earth, clear policies on sustainable exploitation of our resources are indispensable and they have to be in place now, not later,” he said. “Also, our fishermen need advanced yet scalable sea navigation systems, including GPS, and deep-sea fishing vessels. For these, we need microsatellites like the Diwata-1 and Diwata-2 now in orbit up there above our planet, so that… Filipino fishermen and seamen will have Pinoy satellites in space to guide them.”

Fortun noted that Diwata-1’s mission ends in 2020 while Diwata-2 will continue orbiting the Earth for four more years.

He said Congress should assure the Philippine Space Agency of its continuing support, especially in terms of appropriations, for its microsatellite program.

“The DOST plan is to have about 13 microsatellites. The next one could be deployed in 2022,” Fortun said.

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