A new evacuation facility funded by the Philippines’ state-run gambling corporation is finally ready for use, a year after construction began.
Coming in at over $545,000, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has inaugurated the evacuation centre located in San Jose del Monte, a city in the province of Bulacan.
PAGCOR described the multi-purpose structure as a “basketball court-type evacuation facility,” with a range of amenities, including comfort rooms, a stage area and bleachers.
Meanwhile, San Jose del Monte’s Mayor, Arturo Robes, said the PAGCOR-funded facility was the first of its kind to be constructed in the city.
Most centres – including school buildings and gyms – are not as “sturdy and appropriate for accommodating calamity-affected residents,” stated PAGCOR.
“We are very grateful to PAGCOR that we have been blessed with such a beautiful and modern facility that can shelter the residents we evacuate during severe disasters,” Robes added.
“Apart from being very spacious, it is also very comfortable to host a lot of special programmes here in our city.”
More multi-purpose evacuation centres (MPEC) will be unveiled in the coming days, said PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Andrea Domingo.
She commented: “We expect more provinces and communities to benefit from this project very soon since most of those whom we granted fundings for the construction of MPECs have already finished building their respective evacuation centres.”
Tropical cyclones, otherwise known as typhoons or hurricanes, are among the most violent weather events and the Philippines is one of the most impacted countries worldwide – hence the importance of robust evacuation facilities.