National Disaster Centre to become a Commission

The National Disaster Centre will soon become the Disaster Risk Management Commission when the new Disaster Bill is endorsed and pass by Parliament any time.

The Acting Director of the National Disaster Centre, Mr. Mose said , the National Disaster Centre was established under an Act of Parliament in 1984 when the Disaster Management Act was enacted. This piece of legislation created the National Disaster Centre which presently operates under Ministry of Inter-Government Relations and served by Department of Provincial and Local Government Affairs in the areas of Finance and Administration

The Acting Director said, over the past 21 years of operation, many legal, operational, financial and HR shortcomings have become apparent. The frequency, intensity and coverage of known disasters affecting livelihood of many citizens have dramatically increased exponentially with our population growth. As a result, it is inevitable for improvement and changes to be addressed and absorbed into the current disaster management system in PNG.  Many successive Ministers and Governments commended on an moved for changes to be made to the way disasters are managed in PNG.

In December 2013, when NEC instructed that changes were necessary and overdue to the existing legislation that governs disaster management system in the country, Provincial Disaster Officers, International stakeholders and domestic key players in disaster management were tasked to effect changes.

The Law Reform Commission was tasked by the National Disaster Committee to collect and collate input from all stakeholders towards the drafting of a improved legislation to manage disasters in the country.

Since 2003 many consultative meetings have been conducted and these have culminated in the finalization of enabling documents including, A draft Bill to create a Disaster Risk Management Commission. Formal Drafting Instructions, Explanatory Notes on the Bill and a set of Endowment Fund Trust Deeds.

These are expected to be tabled to NEC by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister responsible for disaster management when parliament meets.

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