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Philippine regulator gives two towns $489k for disaster protection

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has released funding for the construction of multi-purpose evacuation centres (MPEC) for two towns in Laguna.

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The municipalities of Luisiana and Victoria were each awarded ₱25m ($489k) in funding from the country’s regulator during separate ground-breaking ceremonies which took place on 24 September.

Luisiana and Victoria have a combined population of over 70k and are categorised as fourth-class towns, which complicates evacuation efforts during emergencies and extreme weather conditions, both for locals and disaster-response services.

While discussing the structure that will be built in the town’s Barangay San Isidro, Nestor Rondilla, the Mayor of Luisiana, said: “For the longest time, we endured the difficulty of finding different venues where most of our residents can temporarily stay whenever they need to be evacuated.

“We lack ideal and comfortable spaces for our people during emergency situations. This soon-to-be built permanent evacuation center from PAGCOR is exactly what we need and prayed for. We’re grateful beyond words for this blessing.”

A day earlier, PAGCOR also led the ground-breaking for the construction of a village in Batangas, handing over ₱30m to the local Government of Mataas na Kahoy, for a permanent housing project to shelter families displaced by the eruption of Taal Volcano.

This development will benefit more than 100 families who currently reside within the danger zone of the active volcano.

“We specifically considered those living within the seven-kilometre radius of the volcano, and the PAGCOR village will be built at least 11 kilometres away from the danger zone,” commented Janet Ilagan, the Mayor of Mataas na Kahoy.

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