By Betheena Kae Unite
Four more evacuation centers in Zamboanga Peninsula are currently being constructed, adding to the three newly-completed facilities in the region, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) announced.
Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar said he had ordered the fast implementation of the four evacuation facilities located in the Municipality of Cabatangan in Zamboanga City; Municipalities of Labangan and Dinas in Zamboanga del Sur; and in the Municipality of Siocon in Zamboanga del Norte.
The secretary furthered that the evacuation centers are built to be gender-sensitive and persons-with-disability (PWD) friendly, provisioned with wheelchair ramps, railings, separate toilets for male and female, an infirmary, laundry and drying room, and an accommodation area.
“By providing strong and well-equipped evacuation centers, there will be no or less disruption for students since schools are no longer used as temporary shelter,” Villar said.
Earlier, three evacuation centers amounting to P102-million were completed in the Municipality of Labason and Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte; and Municipality of Imelda, Zamboanga Sibugay.
It can be recalled that in 2013, more than 100,000 people stayed at Joaquin F. Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex during the Zamboanga Siege due to lack of evacuation center in the area.
The department, according to Villar, is prioritizing to build more evacuation centers in the country in order to do away from using school buildings as evacuation sites and disrupting classes in the process during calamities.