More evacuation centers in Cordillera assured

THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) confirmed that construction of more evacuation centers in different provinces of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) will continue.

Khadaffy Tanggol, DPWH-CAR director, said there are now nine existing evacuation centers in the region while nine others are under construction.

“The establishment of evacuation centers was realized after Typhoon Yolanda, which started in 2016, wherein all regions were given a specific allocation of P25 million for the establishment of three evacuation centers with a standard design, a communal area where our evacuees are to eat, an area for the DOH, DSWD, a water tank in cases where there is flooding, to which the President wanted a single story evacuation facility,” Tanggol said.

As early as January 2020, following the eruption of Taal Volcano in Batangas Province, President Rodrigo Duterte called for the construction of evacuation facilities nationwide to serve evacuees.

Duterte reiterated the call this week following a string of typhoons that hit the country, including provinces in the Cordillera and Cagayan region.

“As of the moment, we still have to receive an instruction from our central office to redesign our evacuation centers or facilities that would cater also to health pandemics, but if ever the Inter Agency Task Force would come up with a recommendation that would serve the purpose, then I am sure there will be a redesign on what we will implement that would emanate from the central office,” Tanggol added.

DPWH Secretary Mark Villar earlier said the agency is fast-tracking the construction of over 200 evacuation centers all over the country.

According to a 2019 study by the Global Peace Index, the Philippines is the most susceptible country to hazards brought about by climate change.

The study found that 47 percent of the country's population was in areas highly exposed to climate hazards such as earthquakes, tsunami, floods, tropical cyclones and drought to which tens of thousands usually end up displaced and in temporary shelter in the wake of disasters.


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