Duterte orders establishment of ‘back-up’ govt. center in Tarlac in case of disasters

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 18) — President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the creation of a ‘back-up’ disaster recovery center outside Metro Manila in case disasters hit the region.

Duterte said in Executive Order 119 signed on Nov. 17 that there is an “urgent need to establish an integrated government center outside the NCR … to ensure continuity of government services as well as facilitate collaboration and coordination between and among government agencies.”

The President noted that Metro Manila is vulnerable to floods, rising sea levels, and “exposed to the threat of a catastrophic earthquake that may be caused by the movements of West and East Valley faults.” Just last week, Typhoon Ulysses (international name: Vamco) triggered massive flooding in several parts of the country including Metro Manila.

Duterte also directed all departments and bureaus under the executive branch to set up their satellite offices in the back-up center, which will be located in New Clark City in Taclac. He also urged those in the legislative and judicial departments, as well as independent constitutional bodies to do the same.

The funding for the government center will be sourced from the available funds of concerned agencies and if necessary, other funding sources which the Department of Budget and Management may identify, subject to existing laws, Duterte said.

State-run Bases Conversion and Development Authority is tasked to assist the government agencies in securing their field offices at the government center in New Clark City.