PAGCOR inaugurates another evacuation facility in Albay

Sun| 05.07.2023 | 1:00 PM

TPAGCOR inaugurates another evacuation facility in AlbayThe newly constructed two-storey PAGCOR-funded evacuation facility in Brgy. Tomolin, Ligao City in Albay.

TPAGCOR inaugurates another evacuation facility in AlbayPAGCOR’s VP for Corporate Social Responsibility Group Ramon Stephen Villaflor (3rd from left) and Ligao City Mayor Fernando Gonzalez (4th from right) are joined by local government officials of Ligao during the inauguration of the two-storey PAGCOR-funded evacuation facility in Ligao, Albay. Also in photo is former Ligao City Mayor Patricia Gonzalez-Alsua (2nd from right).

TPAGCOR inaugurates another evacuation facility in AlbayThe city government of Ligao, Albay has provided modular tents to give privacy to families who will temporarily stay in the PAGCOR-funded evacuation facility.

LIGAO, Albay – The calamity-prone Bicol region has again raised the bar for disaster preparedness with the completion of a two-storey Multi-Purpose Evacuation Center (MPEC) facility here.

With a funding of P50 million from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), the modern structure built in Ligao City's Brgy. Tomolin, was inaugurated on May 5, 2023.

The state-of-the-art facility is the seventh completed PAGCOR-funded MPEC in the Bicol region and the second to be built in the province of Albay. Legazpi City was the first project recipient in Albay to complete the construction of a two-storey evacuation facility.

During the inauguration rites, Ligao City Mayor Fernando Gonzalez shared that due to Bicol region’s location near the Pacific Ocean and Ligao City’s proximity to the Mayon Volcano, locals are highly vulnerable to the impact of various natural disasters.

"From monsoons, tropical depression and typhoons that often form in the Pacific Ocean to volcanic eruptions, flooding and earthquakes – Ligao is in an eternal state of alert and experiences various types of calamities,” he said.

But while the city government often implements preemptive evacuation during disaster situations, its resources are not enough to provide everyone with a safe, temporary shelter.

“Previously, we did have difficulties in housing evacuees as most of our evacuation facilities are schools. Unfortunately, classrooms are not equipped as evacuation centers because they are designed for learning. Hence, those who are temporarily seeking shelter experience so much inconvenience there.”

With the completion of the two-storey evacuation facility from PAGCOR, the city government of Ligao is confident that they can respond better to the needs of their locals during emergency situations. “PAGCOR’s evacuation facility addresses the all the possible needs of evacuees including requirements for sanitation, space, storage, ventilation, among others,” Gonzalez said.

While designed as a multi-purpose facility, each MPEC worth P50 million has provision for kitchen, toilet and shower rooms for male and female, lactating rooms for nursing mothers, and a spacious badminton-court type area that may be used for sports events, trainings and other purposes.

PAGCOR’s Vice President for Corporate Social Responsibility Group Ramon Stephen Villaflor said the state-run gaming firm has stayed true to its commitment to nation-building by giving support to areas or sectors that need it most.

“PAGCOR knows that the Bicol Region is the gateway of various natural calamities. Unfortunately, reality dictates that global warming is set to make typhoons stronger, hence the need to protect vulnerable communities. This newly constructed evacuation facility in Ligao is one of our ways to help alleviate the harsh impact of climate change. This is also a testament to the close coordination between local government units and national government agencies,” Villaflor furthered.

Currently, a total of 28 MPECs have been completed and unveiled nationwide, while 50 are still undergoing construction.

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