Bong Go pushes bill on mandatory evacuation centers

As the Philippines observes National Disaster Resilience Month, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go pushed for the establishment of evacuation centers across the country.

Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go (OFFICE OF SEN. BONG GO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Go, who is pushing for the establishment of the Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR), said the creation of mandatory evacuation centers is also needed to improve the country’s approach towards resiliency and adaptability to natural disasters and calamities which are common in the Philippines.

“Given the frequency of natural calamities like typhoons, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions that hit and harm us every year, it is about time we properly acknowledge that our nation is particularly vulnerable to foreboding disasters,” Go said in a statement.

“Therefore, encouraging a culture of proactiveness and adaptability is essential to ensuring Filipinos' readiness and safety in times of crises,” he stressed.

In refiling the Mandatory Evacuation Center Bill, Go said every province, city and municipality are required to construct such centers that would be equipped with emergency packs, medicines and other basic necessities.

Go said it is high-time that local government units (LGUs) cease from using public schools as temporary shelters during calamities such as earthquakes and flooding.

“Panahon na magkaroon na ng permanent evacuation centers, lalung-lalo na po para sa mga apektadong bata (It is high-time to build permanent evacuation centers, especially so we can care for affected children),” Go said.

“Dapat may higaan, comfort rooms, ‘yung sanitation maayos, hanggang sa makauwi sila sa kanilang mga pamamahay (these centers should have beds, comfort rooms, proper sanitation, until they can return to their homes),” he added.

Go said the government must learn from its previous experiences and the COVID-19 pandemic's lessons, noting that it is past time for the country to step up its preparedness and resilience against pandemics and natural catastrophes.

“Huwag na po tayong magsayang ng oras. Huwag na po nating hintayin na may dumating pang matinding kalamidad na tumama sa ating bansa (Let’s not waste time. Let’s not wait for more calamities and natural disasters to hit the country),” the lawmaker said.

“It is time to scale up our preparedness and resiliency against natural disasters and pandemics," Go reiterated.