PAGCOR’s emergency facility opens in flood-prone Pangasinan town

PAGCOR key officers led by VP for Corporate Social Responsibility Group Ramon Stephen Villaflor (sixth from right), AVP for Community Relations and Services Eric Balcos (fifth from right) and AVP for Corporate Communications Carmelita Valdez (fourth from right) join Lingayen local officials, Mayor Leopoldo Bataoil (sixth from left) and Vice Mayor Mac Dexter Malicdem (fifth from left) during the inauguration of the new Multi-Purpose Evacuation Center in Barangay Pangapisan. (Photo courtesy of PAGCOR)

Every time typhoons and other extreme weather conditions would ravage the northern part of the country, locals of the flood-prone coastal town of Lingayen, Pangasinan would scurry to find a safe haven where they can seek shelter for a few days.

On 11 November 2022, the town’s lack of emergency facilities was finally addressed after the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation formally inaugurated its Multi-Purpose Evacuation Center in Barangay Pangapisan.

The inauguration of the P50 million two-storey emergency facility, which has state-of-the-art amenities such as kitchen and storage areas, toilet and shower rooms for male and female evacuees, and lactating rooms for nursing mothers, among others, was a welcome development for thousands of families in the said municipality.

Fisherman Jose Sison Sr., 62, is one of those who has experienced first-hand the life-threatening danger of flash floods in their community. “Dito po sa lugar namin, ang madalas na nagdadala ng baha ay ang high tide at ang tuluy-tuloy na pag-ulan. Kapag ganoon ang sitwasyon, hindi na po kami nakakapalaot para mangisda at napipilitan na lamang lumikas sa mga siksikang evacuation center,” he said.

During the recent Typhoon “Paeng,” which devastated many communities in different parts of the country, Sison and other older individuals remained in their village to guard their homes and properties while children were sent to an evacuation facility.

“Sa awa ng Diyos, ligtas po ang aming mga pamilya. At ngayon nga po, mas higit naming ipinagpapasalamat ang pagkakaroon ng mas ligtas at komportableng lugar na aming matutuluyan kapag muling dumating ang sitwasyong kinakailangan naming lumikas,” said Sison.


The municipal government of Lingayen has equipped its brand-new evacuation facility from PAGCOR with beds for the convenience of those who will use the evacuation center in future emergencies. (Photo courtesy of PAGCOR)

Lingayen Mayor Leopoldo Bataoil, who joined key PAGCOR officers in the inauguration of the MPEC building, expressed his gratitude to the agency for funding the construction of a much-needed facility in their town.

“We are grateful to our brothers and sisters in PAGCOR for making this project possible,” he said.

To date, a total of 16 MPECs have already been completed in different areas nationwide.

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