MASANTOL - The municipality of Masantol has started the rehabilitation of the evacuation centers situated in different barangays as preparation for the rainy season.

The centers, which are located in Barangay San Nicolas, Sto. Nino, Sta. Lucia, San Isidro Matua and Sagrada, have been repaired and improved to better accommodate would-be evacuees.

"Alam naman kasi natin na tayo yung pinakaprone sa pagbaha. Yung baha dito talagang tumatagal ng dalawang buwan," said Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Council (MDRRMC) officer-in-charge Jesus Manansala.

He said the Municipal Government allotted almost P800,000 of their annual budget to make sure the sites will be ready for use.

"Yung Sagrada yung pinakamalaki namin ginastusan dyan kasi yan yung pinakamalaki. Six barangays ang covered niya at lalo na nasa coastal areas sila," added Manansala, saying they spent P300,000 for the said site.

The centers can accommodate at least 200 families each, according to Manansala. Aside from these, public and private schools and churches are also ready to extend their facilities if needed.

"Willing naman sila. Kaya lang kapag ganyan, kami yung mga sumasagot sa maintenance. Kapag may nasira during the stay, kami magpapagawa," he added.

The municipal government is also preparing tents which will be placed in safe areas near dikes for additional evacuation sites.

"Recently lang, nagpadala si Mr. [Rodolfo] Pineda, yung asawa ni Nanay ng 20 pirasong tents," shared Manansala.

The MDRRMC's equipment and personnel for rescue and retrieval are also ready.

"As of now, meron kaming dalawang malaking fiber glass boats which can carry 40 passengers. Meron din kaming dalawang motor boats at dalawang di-sagwan na lahat functional," he said.

The municipal government also owns two motorboats and life vests which they use on emergencies.

They also have 42 volunteers who underwent water search and rescue (WASAR) training and three additional support staff from the council.

"Natuto na kami from our past experiences kaya nagre-ready na talaga kami," Manansala stressed.

Manansala also shared they are preparing for any earthquake despite being away from the West Valley Fault.

"Yung bagyo kase nape-predict kaya nakakapaghanda tayo bago pa siya tuluyang maghit. Pero yung lindol wala namang signs 'di ba?" said Manansala.

Manansala they been practicing the precautionary measures he the Office of the Civil Defense's contingency planning formulation workshop.