On Wednesday, NDRRMC Executive Director Usec. Ricardo Jalad with Department of Public Works and Highways-Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) Regional Director Tiburcio Canlas, Dept. of Social Welfare and Development -CAR Regional Director Janet Armas, and other representatives from the Cordillera Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CRDRRMC) turned over and inaugurated the evacuation center located at the Provincial Engineering Office compound in barangay Wangal in this capital town.
The P36-million-worth facility built on a 3,000-square meter land area donated by the provincial government can accommodate 130 families or at least 390 families for an average family of three.
The facility consists of a building complex with series of structures that would help minimize the risk and ensuring the safety of users especially in times of calamities and disasters. It carries the standard evacuation center complex design of the DPWH that has gender-sensitive facilities.
The building complex was conceptualized to give comfort and allow the evacuees to move freely and normally. The facilities are integrated to support the variety of needs for praying, eating and nursery for the children to make the accommodation more livable.
Aside from the living quarters, it has a dining area, a nursing room for mothers and babies, separate bathrooms for male and female, wash area, an area for garbage disposal, a large parking area, and an activity area where “residents” can do activities while staying in the facility. It also has an office and infirmary building.
Utility and ancillary goes hand in hand by providing a proper food preparation, storage area, water reserve and electrical power needs including alternative generator for power outages. Proper garbage disposal is also in place to avoid the spread of disease.
The regional evacuation center is the third facility turned over by the NDRRMC to the local government units. Earlier this year, the provinces of Abra and Apayao received their regional evacuation centers from the NDRRMC and the CRDRRMC.
Jalad, in his message, said the facility is part of the preparation for those who would be affected by the different calamities that may hit the province.
“Ang pagkakaroon ng evacuation center ay sya naman pagbaba ng vulnerability at para maiwasan ang mas matinding kalamidad ng ating mga kababayan,” Jalad said,
He also encouraged the CRDRRMC and the local government units to use the halls and facilities of the complex building for the necessary trainings on DRRM and other related activities to ensure preparation of the different individuals from the LGUs, government agencies and other stakeholders.
Jalad thanked the different stakeholders for working together to build an evacuation center. Although the building has been completed, he encouraged the line agencies such as the DSWD and DOH to provide additional needs of the facility for it to be fully functional and be ready during disasters.
In his acceptance message, Gov. Pacalso thanked President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the NDRRMC for giving a facility that would be used by the people of Benguet should they be affected by calamities.
Meanwhile , Canlas informed that with the turnover of the Benguet evacuation center, the DPWH is now hastening to finish the remaining five facilities within June this year in time for the typhoon season.
Canlas said that it is a challenge building an evacuation center in the Cordillera region with the requirements of having a 3,000 square meter lot donated by LGUs. He explained that the DPWH has to do several configurations on the design and the structure due to the terrain and several hazards of the lots. The agency has to do mitigating measures that incurs additional cost.
“But rest assured that the facility is safe and could withstand calamities,” Canlas said.
Armas lauded the facility which will also lessen the use of schools as evacuation centers during calamities. (JDP/RMC- PIA CAR)
By Redjie Melvic Cawis