P36M regional evacuation center to rise in Koronadal City

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By Oliver Ross Rivera

KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato, Sept. 24 (PIA) -- Koronadal City LGU broke ground for the construction of a P36-million evacuation center in Barangay San Jose on Monday.

With a capacity of up to 500 individuals, the Regional Evacuation Center, a 3,000-square meter lot near barangay San Jose gymnasium will be built to be disaster-resilient, gender-sensitive, and compliant to standards.

The hazard-adaptive building is also designed in compliance with BP344 or the Accessibility Law which ensures the differently-abled persons access and convenience during the evacuation period.

The building construction funded by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is initiated by the National Disaster Risk Reducation and Management Council (NDRRMC) through the Office of Civil Defense (OCD).

It includes a well-lit and sufficiently ventilated accommodation building, reception area, stage area, administration office with consultation room, clinic, play room with breastfeeding area, mess hall with kitchen, conjugal room, storage room, toilet and bath facilities for men, women and differently-abled persons and a prayer room.

In a report from DPWH XII, funding requests for the construction of five more evacuation centers were approved by DPWH Secretary Mark Villar this year.

This will be built in Bagumbayan and Tacurong City in Sultan Kudarat province and three in North Cotabato Province (one in Arakan and two in Kidapawan City).

According to DPWH XII Regional Director Basir Ibrahim, the importance of evacuation centers was highlighted during the series of earthquakes the region experienced last year.

“Our determination to protect and respect human life was tested during the earthquakes in North Cotabato last year. Calamities and disasters can happen anytime and when they do, we want to provide affected people safe space and ensure that their basic human needs such as food, water and medicines are met,” Director Ibrahim said.

“In those difficult and perilous times, everyone realized the importance of evacuation centers,” he added. (ORVR with reports from DPWH12)