Gov’t should upscale evacuation centers – CHR

Published November 25, 2020, 10:35 AM

by Czarina Nicole Ong Ki

The Center for Crisis, Conflict, and Humanitarian Protection of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is calling on the national, regional, and local government agencies to scale up its identification of evacuation centers – not just to offset the overcrowding of internally displaced persons (IDPs) now, but also in preparation for future disasters.


The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and its regional and local DRRMCs, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH), and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), among other relevant agencies, have been urged to beef up its humanitarian assistance to IDPs currently suffering from the aftermath of Typhoon Ulysses.

“Identification of more evacuation shelters is necessary for keeping the number of families limited per site. As part of disaster preparedness, authorities should also assess areas or structures that can be used as evacuation centers in the future,” the CHR said in a statement.

Because of Typhoon Ulysses, even some designated evacuation centers were flooded. This only proves that a risk assessment of identified sites must be conducted first.

“In addition, local governments must also monitor the health of IDPs within their jurisdiction, given their increased vulnerability to COVID-19,” the statement added.

The country thankfully experienced better weather in the past few days. However, the CHR said there is no denying the fact that many Filipinos are still trying to recover from damages to lives and properties.

“The government must then ensure that people can continuously access humanitarian support in the course of their displacements,” the CHR stressed.

“This is not the time for divisive remarks or maligning of efforts of humanitarian providers that effectively respond to the needs of the people. The government must act as one to be of best assistance to communities affected by different disasters and calamities.”