A SENATOR has filed a bill that seeks to establish an evacuation center in every city and municipality in the Philippines.
Senator Rafael “Raffy” T. Tulfo filed Senate Bill 1652 to mandate local governments to set up a facility that is adequately equipped to accommodate displaced residents during disaster and emergency situations.
“When disaster and calamities strike, covered courts, gymnasiums, schools, and even churches serve as evacuation areas to shelter affected residents and families,” the senator said under the bill’s explanatory note.
“These areas are jam-packed when the situation worsens,” he said. “Diseases, existing and unforeseen, may also spread because these areas do not meet standard measures for a proper and well-ventilated evacuation center.”
The Philippines is vulnerable to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tropical cyclones, and floods, making it one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, according to the World Bank.
Under the bill, the location for every evacuation center will be identified by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in coordination with the local government unit (LGU).
The LGU will be responsible for the operation, supervision, and management of evacuation centers. Local councils are mandated to establish the guidelines on the use of these facilities. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan