ILOILO City – Two Regional Evacuation Centers constructed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Panay Island were recently inaugurated and tuned over to Local Government Units (LGUs) – in Roxas City, Capiz and in San Miguel, Iloilo, the 7th and 8th completed out of 11 centers in the region, each can accommodate approximately 33 families.
The centers, each with P36-million budget allocation, have eight buildings, namely: accommodation building, office and infirmary building, laundry or drying area, male toilet and bath, female toilet and bath, pump room, generator room, and materials recovery facility. Also, part of the project is the provision of cistern tank and drainage system.
A resort-like, gender-sensitive, and sphere-standard evacuation center in Brgy. Milibili, Roxas City, Capiz, was recently inaugurated and turned over by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Regional Office 6 to Roxas City government in September this year.
Present during the turn-over were officials of the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) 6, representatives of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 6 and Department of Health (DOH) 6, and officials of Roxas City local government unit and various barangays in the city.
Roxas City mayor Ronnie Dadivas thanked the DPWH, OCD and other concerned agencies for providing Roxas City with an evacuation center, which will house its residents during disasters instead of utilizing the schools as temporary shelters for evacuees.
“This new center is designed for the safety, comfort and ease of the evacuees, both physically-challenged or not. Also, this can be a multi-purpose venue for various activities like meetings, seminars and other socio-cultural activities,” he said.
According to J. E. Tico Construction consultant of the contractor Engr. July Cerdon, the construction of the said center was quite challenging considering its hilly geographical location, however, they have successfully implemented the project in accordance with the DPWH standards and specifications.
Likewise, DPWH turned-over another evacuation center in Brgy. Igtambo in San Miguel, Iloilo to San Miguel government last Oct. 8, attended by concerned agencies such as OCD, DSWD, DOH and local officials.
The turnover was graced by Iloilo 2nd Congressional district representative Michael Gorriceta and OCD undersecretary Ricardo B. Jalad, along with barangay and town officials of San Miguel.
During the turn-over, DPWH 6 regional director Lea Delfinado explained that the center was designed to be disaster resilient, gender sensitive and compliant to the standard Regional Evacuation Center to enhance response capabilities of the communities in times of disasters and emergencies.
“This is another significant milestone in our continuous effort to deliver adequate, safe and quality infrastructure facilities as we turn over to the good hands of the local government unit of San Miguel, the completed Regional Evacuation Center, complete with necessary facilities,” she said.
Delfinado also urged other partner agencies to work hand-in-hand in providing disaster-ready facilities to the people.
“As partners in strengthening our country’s preparedness and risk reduction in times of disasters and calamities, let us continue to work cohesively to deliver crucial services responsive to the needs of our people,” she added.
Sta. Cruz Elementary School head teacher Edwin Sabando, one of the beneficiaries of the project, said the evacuation center is modernized and a big help to the people.
“Katahum sang building nga ini kag modernized. So, dako gid ni nga bulig sa amon kag dako gid nga building ini para ma accommodate ang evacuees sa sini nga lugar. (This building looks nice and modernized. So, this is a big help for us and the building is big enough to accommodate evacuees in the area),” he said.
In addition, San Jose Elementary School principal Glecerio Cabunducan said that the evacuation center will serve as the landmark for the people in the community.
“Daku gid ini ang impact nya sa pumuluyo kay sa tion sang emerhensiya, ini ang magasilbi nga dalangpan sang mga pumuluyo kag indi lang sang San Miguel, pwede man kakadto ang mga nagapuyo sa mga neighboring towns, halimbawa sa Leon, Alimodian, portion kang Pavia kag Sta. Barbara. (This has a big impact to the people because in times of emergency, this will serve as refuge of the people not only from San Miguel, but also the people from the neighboring towns of Leon, Alimodian, portion of Pavia and Sta. Barbara),” he said.
Meantime, DPWH is fast-tracking the completion of three more evacuation centers; one in Nueva Valencia in Guimaras, one in Bacolod City and another one in Sagay City, Negros Occidental. When completed, these centers will be beneficial to the people in the region, and schools will not serve as temporary shelters anymore./PN