Taal evacuees, fisherfolk seek permanent evacuation centers

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A sample of a temporary shelter. (PNA)

MANILA — The national fishers group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) on Friday  sought  for the institutionalization of permanent evacuation centers program as almost a million of residents of Batangas province languish at improvised evacuation centers after the Taal Volcano erupted last week.

PAMALAKAYA is referring to the program proposed by the House Bill No. 5259 filed by lawmakers under the Makabayan bloc, that two to three contiguous barangays should be constructed with a permanent evacuation center to accommodate population affected by natural calamities.

“Paulit-ulit na lang nating nakikita ang problema sa evacuation, akala natin ay magiging epektibo ang response ngayon dahil may mga aral na tayong nakuha sa karanasan sa bagyong Yolanda, pero may mga problema pa rin. Makikitang nagkulang ang gubyerno sa kahandaan o plano,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson and a former Anakpawis Party-list lawmaker,   said in a statement.

He added that aside from the socio-economic conditions of poor sectors which is the main basis of their vulnerabilities to natural calamities, the absence of an institutionalized evacuation program adds to their miseries.

“Halimbawa nito ay may mga evacuation centers na nanawagan ng potable water, na batayang pangangailangan ng mamamayan. Sa isyung ito pa lamang, nagkulang na ang gubyerno,” Hicap said.

The bill pushes that evacuation centers be designed and equipped with: cubicles to house a family of five; restrooms; centralized kitchen and laundry areas; generator,  adequate water supply, a rainwater catchment system and natural ventilation system; a clinic with necessary equipments; stockrooms for relief goods and facilties for disaster-response functions. (SA/IA)

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