Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation

Evacuation center projects in Laguna, Batangas underway with P100 million funding from PAGCOR

Fri | 05.7.2021 | 8:00 PM

Evacuation center projects in Laguna, Batangas underway with P100 million funding from PAGCORPAGCOR President and COO Alfredo Lim (3rd from left) formally turns over to San Pablo City Mayor Loreto Amante (3rd from right) the P25 million check, representing the first tranche of the agency's P50 million grant for the construction of a two-storey multi-purpose evacuation center in Barangay San Gregorio. With them are (from left) PAGCOR's Asst. VP for Community Relations and Services Ramon Stephen Villaflor, PAGCOR Director Reynaldo Concordia and San Pablo City Vice Mayor Justin Colago.

Evacuation center projects in Laguna, Batangas underway with P100 million funding from PAGCORPAGCOR VP for Corporate Social Responsibility Group Jimmy Bondoc (3rd from left) and Lobo Municipal Mayor Gaudioso Manalo (3rd from right) lead the laying of the time capsule for the construction of a multi-purpose evacuation facility in the town. Photo also shows PAGCOR Asst. VP for Community Relations and Services Ramon Stephen Villaflor (extreme left) and other local officials of the town.

Evacuation center projects in Laguna, Batangas underway with P100 million funding from PAGCORForty-year-old fisherman Darwis Alda recounts the difficulty his family always suffers each time they need to evacuate their home in a coastal community in Lobo, Batangas to seek safer grounds.

RESIDENTS of Laguna and Batangas who are often displaced by extreme weather disturbances will no longer worry about staying in cramped temporary shelters during emergency situations after the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) turned over the funds for the construction of two Multi-Purpose Evacuation Centers (MPEC) in said provinces.

PAGCOR granted P50 million each to the local government units of San Pablo City in Laguna and the town of Lobo in Batangas for the construction of the two-storey emergency facilities, which will also serve as satellite offices and activity venues when not utilized for evacuation purposes.

The state-run gaming firm turned over the first tranche of the funding amounting to P25 million to San Pablo City on May 7, while the municipality of Lobo received the same initial funding for their MPEC project a day earlier during separate groundbreaking rites attended by the agency’s key officers and the recipients’ local officials.

PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Andrea Domingo said the agency will continue to finance the building of emergency structures in different identified sites nationwide even if the agency currently experiences dwindling revenues due to the temporary closure of gaming operations.

“Our commitment to provide safe and comfortable shelters to those living in places that are always in the path of strong typhoons and other natural calamities is as serious as our efforts to help the government win the battle against the pandemic,” she assured.

San Pablo City Mayor Loreto Amante considered their town fortunate for having been included in PAGCOR’s list of MPEC recipients, since every typhoon that lashes Laguna brings destructive winds and poses danger especially to those living in tree-lined communities in their city. The emergency facility will be constructed in Barangay San Gregorio.

“Unlike the other provinces that are always swamped by heavy floods during heavy rains, what endangers our residents are the strong winds brought by typhoons, which forces us most of the time to evacuate them to schools and other places available. With the aid that we received from PAGCOR, we can now have a permanent, safe and comfortable structure to house them whenever they need to be evacuated,” he said.

Meanwhile, the MPEC to be built in a mountainside community in Lobo, Batangas will directly benefit thousands of residents of at least three seaside barangays of the town who constantly face the threat of severe weather disturbances like typhoons and storm surge.

Among those who will benefit from the MPEC project in Lobo is 40-year-old fisherman Darwis Alda, whose family is always evacuated to safer grounds each time their community is swamped with raging seawaters during strong typhoons.

“Palagi na lang po kaming nagtitiis sa siksikang mga eskwelahan kapag kinakailangang mag-evacuate dahil sa pagbaha sa aming lugar dala ng malalakas na alon. Kawawa po ang mga bata. Mabuti na lang at may nagmalasakit na kami ay tulungan para magkaroon ng maayos at komportableng evacuation center dito sa aming bayan,” he said.

PAGCOR has already released over P600 million for the construction of MPECs in various parts of the country since the project was launched in November 2020.

Apart from San Pablo City, Laguna and Lobo, Batangas, the agency has also released the first tranche of funding for the MPECs in Silago, Southern Leyte; Orani and Samal in Bataan; Dingalan, Aurora; La Paz, Tarlac; Catarman, Samar; Barangays Camflora, Mangero and Poblacion in San Andres, Quezon; Tapaz, Capiz; Cajidiocan, Romblon; Dinas, Zamboanga del Sur; Tagudin, Ilocos Sur; Tadian, Mountain Province; Legazpi City and Ligao in Albay; Ocampo, Tigaon, San Jose and Sagnay in Camarines Sur; and San Fernando and Floridablanca in Pampanga.

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