DPWH builds more evacuation centers to avoid disrupting classes during calamities

Published July 1, 2019, 11:08 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Betheena Unite

In order to do away from disrupting classes during calamities, building evacuation centers across the country became one of the priority programs of the infrastructure department in the past three years.

Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar ( Juan Carlo de Vela / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar

Speaking before the Pre-SONA 2019 Economic and Infrastructure Sector forum Monday, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar highlighted that a total of 82 evacuation centers in 52 provinces have been completed as of May 2019.

A total of 55 evacuation centers are underway, he added.

“Alam naman natin mga problema sa eskuwelahan. Minsan nagkakaroon ng kalamidad lahat ng evacuees ay ilalagay sa mga eskuwelahan at nakaka-disrupt ng klase kaya malawak po yung plano ng gobyerno para maglagay ng evacuation centers sa lahat ng probinsiya (We know the problems on classrooms. Sometimes, during calamities, all evacuees are moved to the schools, disrupting the classes. That is why the government came up with a bigger plan to build evacuation centers),” the secretary said in an interview after the forum.

According to Villar, the evacuation centers were constructed to be resilient, gender sensitive and compliant to standards. The evacuation centers have their own infirmary, breastfeeding room, communication room and ramps for persons with disability.

“We’ve built many evacuation centers, of course, hopefully, we don’t have to use it. Ayaw din nating magkaroon ng kalamidad pero ang importante lang kapag nagkaroon ng evacuation centers at least may option na po ang probinsiya at hindi na kailangan i-disrupt yung klase (we also don’t like calamities to happen but what’s important is when calamities occur, we have evacuation centers. At least our provinces will have an option and do not have to disrupt classes),” the secretary said.

In identifying the locations of the evacuation centers, the department taps the help of the local government unit.

Villar furthered they usually build the centers in safe places near danger-prone areas.