By Sally Atento-Altea
LEGAZPI CITY, (PIA) – Evacuees during calamities and disasters will have a “home away from home” after the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) completed six out of eight disaster resilient evacuation centers allotted for the Bicol region.
“The selection of project sites undergone intensive evaluation process to ensure that the structures will be safe during disasters,” said DPWH 5 Regional Director Virgilio Eduarte.
The completed projects are located in Barangays Tughan, Juban, Sorsogon; Virac, Catanduanes; Capitol Compound in Cadlan, Pili, Camarines Sur; Barangay Sto. Domingo in Vinzons, Camarines Norte; Barangay Balading in Malinao, Albay; and, Barangay Bolod in San Pascual, Burias Island, Masbate.
The construction of evacuation centers in A. Sitio Tubog, Zone 1 in Libon Albay and Barangay Caliliog in Tinambac, Camarines Sur are targeted for completion before end of this year.
“Our region is visited by almost 8 to 9 typhoons per year not to mention the earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, flooding and landslides. So, we really have to be vigilant in the selection process,” added Eduarte.
The project site requires a minimum of 3000 square meters lot area to house a two-storey accommodation building, one-storey toilet and bath, three-storey laundry/drying and elevated water tank, a power house and other structures that may be deemed necessary by the provincial, city or municipal Risk Reduction Management Office.
The design of the structures and facilities are gender sensitive giving comfort and ease to women, children, senior citizens and physically challenged individuals.
Separate toilets/bath areas for male and female, ramps, railings, water/lighting facilities and fixtures are also constructed to address the basic needs of targeted beneficiaries.
For Dempsey Alcala, a resident of Malinao, Albay, “forced evacuation” will now be a history since almost all of the problems encountered by evacuees are addressed in the newly constructed evacuation centers. Malinao is one of the municipalities in Albay prone to flood and lahar.
“This is what we have been dreaming of,” Alcala said.
The evacuation centers will serve as venues for disaster trainings, calamity drills, information education campaigns and other disaster preparedness activities during normal times. (SAA-PIA5/Albay)