PAGCOR builds sturdy emergency shelters for typhoon-battered Quezon town

Tue | 02.09.2021 | 9:30 AM

PAGCOR builds sturdy emergency shelters for typhoon-battered Quezon townPAGCOR President and COO Alfredo Lim (4th from left) leads the groundbreaking for the construction of a Multi-Purpose Evacuation Center in Barangay Mangero, San Andres, Quezon. Assisting him in the activity is PAGCOR Director Reynaldo Concordia (extreme left), San Andres Mayor Giovanne Lim (2nd from right) and Mangero Barangay Captain Jaime Belmonte (extreme right) while PAGCOR VP for Corporate Social Responsibility Group Jimmy Bondoc (third from left) looks on.

PAGCOR builds sturdy emergency shelters for typhoon-battered Quezon townSixty-nine-year-old Nelda Verasis recounts how their then concrete seaside dream house was destroyed by gigantic storm surge during the onslaught of Typhoon Tisoy in 2019, forcing them to relocate in an upland community in Sitio Dao, Barangay Talisay in San Andres, Quezon.

SAN ANDRES, QUEZON – Residents of this remote town that is frequently battered by strong typhoons will now have a safe and comfortable place to stay in times of calamities after the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) commenced the construction of two Multi-Purpose Evacuation Centers (MPECs) here on February 5, 2021.

The two PAGCOR-funded evacuation centers, which will be built in Barangay Camflora and Barangay Mangero, can accommodate thousands of locals who often seek refuge in schools and cramped training centers whenever the town is lashed by extreme weather disturbances.

The state-run gaming firm held separate groundbreaking rites in said communities to formally commence the construction of the emergency shelters that will also serve as satellite offices of the San Andres municipal government. The events were graced by key PAGCOR officials led by President and COO Alfredo Lim.

“Napakahalaga po ng pagkakaroon ng mga istrukturang talagang matatawag na evacuation centers dito sa aming bayan na madalas bayuhin ng malalakas na bagyo, lalo na po ‘yung mga nakatira malapit sa dagat. Hindi po sapat ang mga existing facilities namin gaya ng mga paaralan at training centers para ma-accommodate lahat ng mga apektadong residente sa mga panahon ng kalamidad,” said San Andres Mayor Giovanne Lim as he thanked PAGCOR for initiating another major project that would benefit his constituents.

Among those who will benefit from the MPEC projects is 69-year-old Nelda Verasis, a resident of Sitio Dao, Barangay Talisay, which is in constant threat of storm surges whenever there are strong typhoons.

Nearly two years since raging seawater spawned by Typhoon Tisoy washed away their seaside home, the memory of how they frantically evacuated their abode to seek refuge in a cramped daycare center remained vivid in her mind.


“Wala kaming ibang matuluyan kundi doon kasi iyon ang pinakamalapit na ligtas na lugar para sa amin. May nagsabi na lang sa amin na winasak na ng malalaking alon yung bahay namin,” she recounted while narrating how the concrete dream house they built from selling livestock disappeared in an instant.

To date, PAGCOR has already bankrolled the construction of 12 evacuation centers in the country. Aside from the two MPECs in Andres, Quezon, the state-run gaming firm has also released the first tranche of MPEC funding for Ilocos Sur, Mountain Province, Legazpi City and Ligao in Albay; Ocampo, Tigaon, San Jose and Sagnay in Camarines Sur and San Fernando and Floridablanca in Pampanga. The agency has allotted a total of P2 billion for the project.

Aside from the MPECs, San Andres is a recipient of a state-of-the-art hospital funded by Bloomberry Cultural Foundation, Inc., the social responsibility arm of Bloomberry Resorts Corporation. Once fully built and operational, the facility in Sitio Yuyuan, Barangay Mangero will cater not only to the medical needs of the residents of San Andres but also of patients from nearby towns.

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