Bacolod City unveils P33.7 M regional evacuation center

Another national government funded regional evacuation center (REC) has been opened in Negros Occidental on Friday, this time in the capital city of Bacolod.

The PHP33.7 million facility, located in Barangay Vista Alegre, is bannered by a two storey building, which can accommodate at least 300 evacuees needing temporary shelter in times of calamity or disaster.

Regional Director Jose Roberto NuAez of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) 6 (Western Visayas) acknowledged the city government for providing the lot for the center and ensuring that the project is free from infirmities regarding ownership.

We hope that you will ensure proper maintenance of the facilities and ensure that all donated equipment for the improvement of conditions during an emergency are properly stored, he said.

NuAez led the inauguration and the ceremonial turn over with Regional Director Lea Delfinado of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Region 6, the agency which implemented the project.

Lone District Representative Greg Gasataya and Mayor Evelio Leonardia received the symbolic key to the REC from NuAez.

The evacuation center stands on a 3,000 square meter property in the Progreso Village Relocation Site owned by the city government.

Aside from the accommodation building, the center includes an office and infirmary building, laundry/drying area, toilet and bath for both male and female, pump room, generator room, and materials recovery facility. Other facilities include a cistern tank and a drainage system.

Aside from the OCD and the DPWH, concerned agencies, including the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Health, are also providing assistance for the operation of the evacuation center.

NuAez said the DPWH secures the funds through the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council allocations and ensures that the center is constructed on a low risk site.

The DSWD provides technical assistance and resource augmentation while DOH brings in augmentation of medicines, medical supplies and equipment, and health workers.

NuAez, Delfinado and the authorized representatives of other concerned agencies signed a memorandum of agreement with Leonardia to formalize the turn over of the facility to the city government, in the presence of Gasataya and other city officials.

I'm happy this project has been completed. A place where our people can stay in times of disaster, emergency and calamity. It is important that we are prepared, Gasataya said.

In November 2018, the first ever regional evacuation center in Western Visayas was inaugurated in Bago City in southern Negros Occidental, while the second REC in the province was opened in San Carlos City in the north in February last year.

The fourth facility set to be turned over by the OCD and the DPWH is located in Sagay City in the north.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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