January 20, 2021

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House panel OKs bill establishing evacuation centers in all towns, cities



a group of people sitting on a bed: Residents affected by the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses sleep in a basketball court turned into an evacuation center in San Mateo, Rizal province, Philippines, November 14, 2020. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez


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Residents affected by the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses sleep in a basketball court turned into an evacuation center in San Mateo, Rizal province, Philippines, November 14, 2020. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

The House Committee on Disaster Resilience on Tuesday approved the substitute measure seeking to construct a multipurpose gym in every municipality and city in the country to serve as evacuation centers in times of calamity.

During its meeting, the panel approved the substitute measure consolidating eight bills providing for the construction of gyms serving as evacuation centers in all areas of the country.

The proposed evacuation centers are seen to provide “immediate and temporary accommodation for people who have been evacuated or displaced from their homes due to emergency events such as typhoons, floods, storm surges, drought and other severe climate disturbances, as well as fire, and the outbreak of illnesses and diseases that presents imminent danger to life and property.”

The measure provides that these evacuation centers must be centrally located in the community, be of safe distance from large trees and structures, near a health facility, and located on land safe from landslides.

These facilities should also be constructed and designed to withstand super typhoons, seismic activity of at least 8.0 magnitude, storm surges, and floods.

At the same time, the proposed evacuation centers should also contain amenities such as sleeping quarters for evacuees, separate shower and toilet facilities for males and females, emergency/exit doors, food preparation areas, trash segregation areas, health care areas, and rainwater harvesting facilities.

The Department of Public Works and Highways is mandated to construct the evacuation centers and formulate its building specifications, while the local government units will be responsible for their operation, supervision and management.

Meanwhile, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council will take the lead in the implementation of the measure, giving priority to areas that are disaster-prone, financially incapable of establishing their own evacuation centers, and do not have existing ones.

The authors of the measure are Representatives Angelina “Helen” D.L. Tan, Vilma Santos- Recto, Precious Hipolito Castelo, Lucy Torres-Gomez, Carlos Isagani Zarate, Ferdinand Gaite, Cullamat, John Marvin “Yul Servo” Nieto, and Romeo Momo, Sr. — BM, GMA News

This article House panel OKs bill establishing evacuation centers in all towns, cities was originally published in GMA News Online.

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