Philippines gaming regulator PAGCOR has inaugurated three new evacuation centers in Cagayan – part of its mandate to contribute to the nation’s social and economic development.
The three Multi-Purpose Evacuation Centers (MPEC) are described as “basketball-court type” facilities, each worth Php12.7 million (US$230,000) and located in the towns of Amulong, Solana and Peñablanca.
According to PAGCOR, the facility in Solona has already been put to good use when used as a temporary shelter in October after the gates of Magat dam were opened to release water following Tropical Storm Paeng.
In the town of Peñablanca, PAGCOR’s evacuation facility was built in the remote barangay of Minanga, which is almost two hours from the town center and has no access to telecommunication. The community’s mountainous location and partly unpaved roads, make it challenging for the local government to deliver swift aid to locals whenever they are affected by natural disasters.
Amulong Municipal Mayor Elpidio Rendon also expressed his gratitude, stating, “In Amulong, we have identified typhoons, landslides, drought and flood as major hazards. The flood alone affects 17 of the 47 barangays. This situation pushes us to raise the adaptive capabilities of our communities that are exposed to flooding. This evacuation center will be of great help to the vulnerable members of our community – such as the elderly, children and pregnant women – especially during the onslaught of natural disasters.”
PAGCOR has to date built a total of 24 MPECs nationwide while another 53 are currently under construction.