Gov’t Approves Disaster Management Draft Law

The Council of Ministers approved Cambodia’s first disaster management draft law during a meeting on Friday, with the aims of improving the country’s ability to both prevent and respond to disasters.

The draft law, prepared by the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) and signed off on by Prime Minister Hun Sen, has been prepared with a view to reducing the threat of and improving the emergency response to disasters in the country, including floods, droughts, typhoons, and catastrophes such as airplane crashes, according to a statement released by the Council of Ministers on Friday. 

The 10-chapter draft legislation, which will now be sent to the National Assembly for consideration, also includes restoration measures to be taken in the wake of a major incident.

Loek Sothea, country humanitarian coordinator for Oxfam, who consulted with the NCDM over the draft law, said the document lacked focus but praised the government for becoming one of the few Southeast Asian nations to take formal action on the issue.

“The draft law is very large and is not so focused; it is based on our recommendations and consultations with NCDM and they have responded with a law that’s not specific on any particular disaster,” he said.

“Despite this, it is a positive move as it shows the government of Cambodia wants to show to [the] world that it has the right law in this area.”

Also at Friday’s meeting, the Council of Ministers also approved a draft on the amendment of seven articles of the Electricity Law and a draft law on public administration reform. According to the statement, the latter law aims to strengthen the quality and effectiveness of the civil service, as well as to reform the wage and bonus structure for government employees.

“The purpose of public service reform is to push for beautified improvement, and provide services for citizens and the nation,” the statement said.

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