Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation

PAGCOR releases P100-M for evacuation center projects in Kalinga and Laguna

Thu| 09.02.2021 | 12:30 PM

PAGCOR releases P100-M for evacuation center projects in Kalinga and Laguna PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Andrea Domingo (3rd from left) turns over the P25 million check to Pasil, Kalinga’s Municipal Treasurer Estemson Barcellano (4th from left). Also present during the event were (from left) PAGCOR’s Acting Vice President for Corporate Social Responsibility Group Ramon Stephen Villaflor, PAGCOR's Chief of Staff Atty. Alberto Regino Jr. and some local officials of Pasil.

TWO towns in the provinces of Kalinga and Laguna became the latest beneficiaries of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR)’s Multi-Purpose Evacuation Center (MPEC) project.

The agency formally turned over on August 31, 2021 a total of P50 million to the local officials of Pasil, Kalinga and Luisiana, Laguna. The amount represented the first tranche of the P100 million earmarked funds for the construction of the evacuation centers in said towns.

PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Andrea Domingo, who led the distribution of grants to Pasil Municipal Treasurer Estemson Barcellano and Luisiana Mayor Nestor Rondilla at the PAGCOR Executive Office in Manila, said the agency will continue to fulfill its socio-civic commitments amidst reduced revenues.

“It’s typhoon season in the country once again. As we continue to bankroll the construction of more MPECs in the country, we are optimistic that more communities will soon have more comfortable evacuation centers for their locals, especially now that the pandemic is making life very difficult for everyone,” she said.

Like other areas in the country commonly affected by natural calamities, Pasil and Luisiana barely have enough emergency shelters to house their residents when they need to be evacuated to safer grounds.

The municipality of Pasil, Kalinga can be found in the mountainous Cordillera Administrative Region. Home to indigenous people, also called the Kalinga, Pasil is a place rich in greenery and natural wonders. However, it is often battered by natural disasters such as typhoons and sometimes earthquakes. During these circumstances, locals often seek shelter in the town’s municipal hall.

Pasil resident Alonzo Saclag, Jr., who was also present during the turnover of the state-run gaming firm's donation to their town, said that having a permanent evacuation center would spare them the difficulty of seeking refuge in other towns during emergency situations.

"Sobrang hirap kapag kinakailangan naming mag-evacuate tuwing may kalamidad. Unang-una, rough road ang dadaanan, at pangalawa, kulang ang tulay kaya't hindi kami basta makatawid patungo sa isang bayan. Napakahalaga talagang magkaroon kami ng agarang matutuluyan sa mga panahon ng kagipitan," Saclag related.

Meanwhile, Luisiana Mayor Rondilla said that they have been utilizing schools and barangay halls as evacuation facilities for a long time, which he admitted are not conducive for emergency shelters.

“Napakalaking tulong ng multi-purpose evacuation center na ibinigay ng PAGCOR sa amin dahil maganda siya, malaki at puwede pa naming gawing multi-purpose building. Halimbawa pag walang kalamidad, pipili kami doon ng isang lugar na puwedeng gawing function room para makatulong pa sa mga kababayan namin,” Rondilla expressed.

Since the MPEC project was launched in November 2020, 37 cities and municipalities have received initial funding for such structures.

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