Senator Loren Legarda today said that the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) should ensure that the evacuation centers it plans to construct will be built on safe areas and are structurally sound.
Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, made the statement during the committee hearing for the proposed 2016 budget of DPWH.
According to DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson, they have identified 190 school sites that are often used as evacuation centers and they are proposing to build evacuation centers within or near the school facility. The evacuation center can also be used as an expanded multi-purpose area.
Legarda said, “We must ensure that these evacuation centers will be built on safe areas, avoiding hazard-prone areas as seen in the geohazard maps, and using green design, including a water catchment facility.”
The Senator stressed the need to ensure that evacuation centers, and all infrastructure for that matter, are disaster-resilient, noting that in the past, even the evacuation centers were not spared from the wrath of typhoons like Pablo and Yolanda.
Meanwhile, the DPWH also said that it is undertaking major flood control projects include clearing of waterways, and construction of rain catchments and tunnels.
“The DPWH’s proposed budget for 2016 shows that disaster risk reduction is integrated in their key programs such as safer national roads, water resource management, and flood control. But there should be convergence with other agencies of government for effective implementation of these programs,” Legarda said.
“The resilience of our buildings and infrastructure is crucial in disaster risk reduction. We prevent or lessen deaths and damages from typhoons, earthquakes and other natural hazards with structurally sound infrastructure,” Legarda concluded.***