Senate bet and actor Robin Padilla got it wrong when he said recently that Visayas and Mindanao have to await Manila’s decision before they can declare a state of calamity.
Republic Act 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Reduction and Management Act empowers all local government units other than the president to autonomously declare a state of calamity.
Section 16 of the law states that other than the President, “the declaration and lifting of the state of calamity may also be issued by the local sanggunian, upon the recommendation of the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.”
Padilla made the erroneous remark in a video uploaded April 16 on his Facebook page in which he advocated for a shift to a federal form of government. He said this would allow local governments in Visayas and Mindanao to declare a state of calamity on their own.
He said around the 2:20 mark:
Kapag meron po tayong mga sakuna o mga dumadating na bagyo...nag-aantay po ang Visayas at Midanao kung ano ang desisyon ng Maynila. Kailangan pa po mag deklara ng state of calamity ng Maynila bago umaksyon. Kaya pag tayo ay pederalismo na, magkakaroon ng kapangyarihan ang ating mga lalawigan na magdesisyon sa sarili nila upang mas mabilis ang aksiyon (Whenever there are calamities or typhoons, Visayas and Mindanao have to wait for Manila to declare a state of calamity before they can act. But if we are under federalism, our provinces can decide on their own and be able to act more quickly).
Recently, Visayan cities such as Cebu in Cebu and Baybay in Leyte were placed under a state of calamity by their LGUs because of the effects of tropical depression “Agaton.”
President Rodrigo Duterte, a proponent of federalism, has endorsed Padilla’s candidacy.
To date, Padilla’s video has received over 40,000 views, 2,700 shares and 414 comments. (ML)