Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar said Wednesday they are targeting to finish construction within the year of 200 disaster-resilient evacuation centers in areas prone to typhoons and other natural disasters.
“Well, by this year we have programmed more than 200 hundred evacuation centers that we’re targeting to finish. So, madadagdagan pa ‘yan if we get additional budget,” Villar said during the weekly economic press briefing at the New Executive Building in Malacañang.
“But ‘yung iba siguro hindi na rin matatapos sa loob ng isang taon but we’ll do our best to build as many as we can within the year,” he added.
Villar said prior to the order of President Rodrigo Duterte to build more disaster-resilient evacuation centers, they have already built more than 100 evacuation centers and some are already being used.
“Of course there’ll be additional budget. May plano po na magkaroon po additional budget para sa evacuation centers. Mayroon din po tayong naitayo—binanggit ko po kanina mayroon na pong 100-plus evacuation centers at ‘yung iba nga nagagamit na po. And in fact, in one of our evacuation centers nailipat po ‘yung mga evacuees from the school to the evacuation centers,” Villar said.
“So, kailangan pang dagdagan. Of course, sa dami rin ng mga evacuees we need more so that’s—‘yan ang sinasabi po ni President na kailangan pa nating dagdagan and there are moves at this point to increase the budget for evacuation centers,” he added.
Villar said for the 2020 national budget, there is allocation to build at least two evacuation centers per province.
“So magkakaroon po ng additional in addition to the evacuation centers that are already programmed in the budget,” he said.
Earlier, Duterte ordered the construction of disaster-resilient evacuation centers in provinces usually hit by typhoons and other natural calamities so that people who will be affected by it will have strong and resilient temporary shelters.
The President made the remark as he, together with top government officials of various concerned agencies, led the situation briefing last 14 January at the Batangas Provincial Complex in Batangas City following the devastation brought by the eruption of Taal Volcano on 12 January.
Among the government officials present in the briefing were Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Rolando Bautista, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas and Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology Director Renato Solidum Jr.
According to the Chief Executive, he wants the evacuation centers to be built in provinces such as in Samar, Leyte and Isabela to be very strong and can withstand typhoons such as Super Typhoon “Yolanda” which hit the Visayas Region in 2013
“Before I go, we must be able to build, Ed (Año) evacuation centers. And so kung may anong — if there’s enough money in the GAA (General Appropriations Act) sa calamity, we will get the… Especially itong provinces that are facing the Pacific Ocean. They are the windows of the Philippines in terms of typhoons and calamities. Whenever there’s a boiling or a hot body of lagoons in the oceans there, they will generate enough heat to create — to absorb so much water in the atmosphere and we have the typhoon,” Duterte said.