PAGCOR PAGCOR’s Assistant VP for Community Relations and Services Ramon Stephen Villaflor (2nd from left) formally turns over to Caloocan City Mayor Oscar Malapitan (3rdfrom left) the check representing the first tranche of funding for the construction of a P50 million worth of multi-purpose evacuation center in the city. Also in photo are (from left) PAGCOR’s Senior Manager for Special Projects Division Maria Eliza Cruz, Caloocan 1stdistrict Dale Gonzalo Malapitan, City Administrator Oliver Hernandez and City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) chief James Lao.

1st PAGCOR-funded evacuation center in metro to rise in Caloocan City

June 19, 2021 People's Tonight 567 views

AFTER being identified as one of the most flood-prone cities in Metro Manila for a long time, Caloocan can now boast of being the first-ever recipient of the multi-purpose evacuation center (MPEC) funded by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) in the National Capital Region (NCR).

PAGCOR formally granted Caloocan City P50 million for the construction of a two-storey permanent evacuation center during the groundbreaking of the said structure on June 17, 2021 in Phase 1, Rainbow Village, Bagumbong, Barangay 171, North Caloocan. The agency turned over to the city’s officials the first tranche of the funding amounting to P25 million to immediately begin the project.

Earlier in the day, the City of San Jose del Monte in Bulacan also received from the state-run gaming firm the initial grant for the building of an MPEC worth P27.9 million in a separate groundbreaking ceremony held in Barangay Minuyan Proper.

According to Caloocan Mayor Oscar Malapitan, with the city’s huge population, the local government does not have enough facility to comfortably accommodate people whenever they need to be evacuated due to heavy flooding or a fire incident.

“Napakalaking tulong po nitong multi-purpose evacuation center na ipapatayo ng PAGCOR dito sa aming lungsod. Kung dati-rati ay sa mga covered court ng mga paaralan pansamantalang tumutuloy ang mga residente naming naaapektuhan ng matitinding pagbaha at mga insidente ng sunog, ngayon ay may matatawag na kaming permanent evacuation center. Isang malaking karangalan din para sa amin na kami ang pinakaunang lungsod sa Metro Manila na nabiyayaan ng ganitong istruktura,” Malapitan said.

Like Caloocan, the neighboring San Jose del Monte City has a great need for an emergency shelter since strong typhoons commonly displace most of its residents. The city’s disaster risk-reduction management office is always forced to frantically search for any available space to temporarily house the evacuees each time the city is affected by extreme weather disturbances.

“Ang hiling lang namin ay isang ligtas at komportableng masisilungan ng mga mamamayan tuwing sasapit ang mga kalamidad gaya ng bagyo o ibang sakuna. Mas higit pa ang natanggap namin dahil ang gusaling itatayo ng PAGCOR ay maraming mapaggagamitan maliban sa pagiging permanent evacuation center,” San Jose del Monte City Mayor Arturo Robes expressed.

PAGCOR has released over P700 million for the construction of MPECs in various parts of the country since the project was launched last November 2020. A total of 29 emergency structures have been funded by the agency so far.