City officials deny miserable condition of evacuees in Manila

Published August 13, 2018, 12:51 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Ria Fernandez

Felix Abad, head of Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO), denied allegations that the city’s evacuees were in miserable condition at the city’s evacuation centers.

This, after a post on Facebook of Gising Maynila went viral that questioned the Philippine capital’s disaster preparedness as it compared it with the modular tents of Marikina and Makati.

(Photo courtesy of Manila Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada via Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)
(Photo courtesy of Manila Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada via Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)

To show the contrast, Gising Maynila posted a photo inside an evacuation center in Manila showing evacuees lying on the floor on their own mats.

The post has already been shared at least 13,000 times.

But Abad clarified that the picture taken showed only one of the rooms from the five-story Baseco evacuation center.

“Limang palapag ‘yun. Di po yung nakikita natin sa social media na kawawa sila (That’s five-story. It’s not the one you see in social media that [evacuees] are miserable.),” he said.

Dr. Gina Pardilla, former physician at the evacuation center, also belied the post, saying: “Natatawa ako sa news. Ang ipinakita was yung complex ng Marikina. Sa amin building na [may] room. (I found the news ridiculous. It showed the complex of Marikina, While ours was a building with rooms.)”

Pardilla, who is now Manila Health Department’s Chief for Planning and Coordination Division, added, “what would be better: the tents or the building with rooms?”

The Baseco evacuation center was built in 2013.

It is Manila’s second facility, next to the one in Del Pan, that is usually allotted for people affected by calamities and natural disasters.

It can house at least 3,000 individuals and has sleeping quarters, toilets, and clinic.