ILOILO – Each local government unit having its own evacuation center is the most ideal, according to Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) chief Dr. Jerry Bionat.
In this province of 42 towns and one component city, only six managed to construct their own evacuation centers – Estancia, Balasan, Banate, Oton, Dueñas, and Pototan.
During calamities such as typhoons, floods, earthquakes, and fires when people are displaced, schools are usually used as temporary evacuation centers.
“Kay ti naandan naton nga evacuation center amo ang mga eskwelahan,” said Bionat.
This practice, however, is disadvantageous to schoolchildren whose classes get disrupted, he said.
Also, this takes a toll on school facilities, Bionat added.
But the PDRRMO chief said the evacuation centers of the local governments may be erected in schools so that these may also be used by the host schools when not utilized by evacuees.
An evacuation center needs funds between P15 million to P18 million, said Bionat.
In the case of Estancia, Balasan, Banate, Oton, Dueñas, and Pototan, their evacuation centers were jointly funded by their local government units and the Department of Interior and Local Government, said Bionat.
But while LGUs are encouraged to building their own evacuation centers, Bionat said the PDRRMO itself has proposed that the provincial government establish one in each of the six districts.
He expressed hope that Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. would approve the proposal.
The PDRRMO estimated each district evacuation center to cost some P18.5 million.
Bionat also revealed that the Office of Civil Defense and National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council are currently building two regional evacuation centers in the municipalities of Zarraga and Carles. The Department of Public Works and Highways is doing the construction.
Each regional evacuation center has a budget of P35 million. Bionat said each has a stockroom, comfort room, bleachers, ventilation, water system, and conference room./PN