New regional evacuation centers in Panay island

The Regional Evacuation Centers at Brgy. Milibili, Roxas City, Capiz

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) of Roxas City, Capiz and San Miguel, Iloilo.

The centers, which coast P36million each and can accommodate 33 families, have eight buildings – Accommodation building, Office and infirmary building, Laundry/drying area, Male toilet and bath, Female toilet and bath, Pump room, Generator room, and Materials recovery facility.

The project also includes cistern tanks and drainage systems.

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 2019.

Brgy. Igtambo, San Miguel, Iloilo can accommodate 33 families in times of disasters and calamities. (Photos by M. Sedicol and C. Calapardo)

Present during the turnover 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.

The construction of the said center was quite challenging, according to Engr. July Cerdon, consultant of the contractor, J. E. Tico Construction, considering its hilly geographical location, however, they have successfully implemented the project in accordance with the DPWH standards and specifications.

TheDPWH also turnedover another evacuation center in Brgy. Igtambo in San Miguel, Iloilo to San Miguel government last October 8. Present were representatives of the OCD, DSWD, DOH and local officials.

Theturnover was also graced by Iloilo 2nd district Rep. Michael Gorriceta and OCD Administrator Undersecretary Ricardo B. Jalad, along with barangay and town officials of San Miguel.

During the turnover, DPWH 6 Regional Director Lea N. 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,” Delfinado 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.

Edwin Sabando, Head Teacher of Sta. Cruz Elementary School and 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 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, Mr. Glecerio S. Cabunducan, principal of San Jose Elementary School, 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 be used as temporary shelters. (DPWH-6/RPAIO)