By Betheena Kae Unite
Six evacuation centers have been built in different villages across Region 5, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) announced.
The completed evacuation facilities were strategically constructed in Barangay Tughan, Juban, Sorsogon; Virac, Catanduanes; Capitol Compound in Cadlan, Pili, Camarines Sur; Barangay Sto. Domingo in Vinzons, Camarines Norte; Barangay Balading in Malinao, Albay; and, Barangay Bolod in San Pascual, Burias Island, Masbate.
“The selection of project sites undergone intensive evaluation process to ensure that the structures will be safe during disasters,” DPWH 5 Regional Director Virgilio Eduarte.
“Our region is visited by almost eight to nine typhoons per year not to mention the earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, flooding and landslides. So, we really have to be vigilant in the selection process,” Eduarte added.
The construction of two more evacuation centers are under way in A. Sitio Tubog, Zone 1 in Libon Albay and Barangay Caliliog in Tinambac, Camarines Sur, which are being targeted for completion before the end of the year.
The six completed and two ongoing facilities are being implemented under a P330.98-million fund sourced from the 2017-18 General Appropriation Act.
A minimum of 3000 square meters lot area was also required to house a two-story accommodation building, one-story toilet and bath, three-story laundry/drying and elevated water tank, a power house and other structures that may be deemed necessary by the Provincial/City/Municipal Risk Reduction Management.
The design of the structures and facilities were gender-sensitive, giving comfort and ease to women, children, senior citizens and physically challenged individuals. Separate toilets/bath areas for male and female, ramps, railings, water/lighting facilities and fixtures that will address the basic needs of targeted beneficiaries.
“Ito po yong pinapangarap namin na magkaroon na hindi namin kaya noon (This is what we dreamed of that we can’t afford to have before,” Dempsey Alcala, a resident of Malinao, Albay, said. Alcala’s place is among the municipalities in Albay that are flood and lahar prone.
The evacuation centers will also serve as venues for disaster training, calamity drills, information education campaigns and other disaster preparedness activities.