AS the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) continues to address the need of various communities for typhoon resilient evacuation centers, the provinces of Oriental and Occidental Mindoro, Virac, Catanduanes and Victoria, Tarlac became the latest beneficiaries of the state-run gaming agency’s Multi-Purpose Evacuation Center (MPEC) project.
Each recipient province received P50 million grant from PAGCOR for the immediate construction of two-storey MPECs in their areas.
PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Andrea Domingo together with the members of the Board formally turned over P25 million each – which represents the first tranche of the P50 million funding – to Occidental Mindoro Governor Eduardo Gadiano, Pola Mayor Jennifer Cruz of Oriental Mindoro, Virac Mayor Sinforoso Sarmiento of Catanduanes, and Victoria Mayor Christian Tell Yap of Tarlac.
Because of the recent grant, PAGCOR has now initially released a total of P1.084 billion for the construction of the 48 PAGCOR-funded evacuation centers nationwide.
Domingo expressed optimism that PAGCOR’s MPEC project will properly augment the evacuation facilities of many local government units (LGUs) and ease the burden of evacuees. “We are very happy that we are able to help LGUs through this long-term project. With the completion of these evacuation centers all over the country, many of our kababayans will have a safe place to go during the typhoon season,” she explained.
Mayor Jennifer Cruz of Pola, Oriental Mindoro expressed her gratitude to the PAGCOR management after a third class municipality like Pola was strategically chosen as one of the project’s beneficiaries. “Isang maliit na bayan lang kami and yet napansin kami ng PAGCOR. Sobrang thankful kami dahil isa ito sa napakalaking project na mapupunta sa aming bayan. Konting ulan lamang kasi, baha na sa amin at wala kaming ‘ganung kalaking facility para sa evacuees, lalo na sa mga bata at matatanda. Maari rin itong gamitin para sa livelihood trainings at drug rehabilitation programs,” the town chief said. The P50 million MPEC in Pola will soon rise in the town’s Barangay Malibago.
Mayor Christian Tell Yap of Victoria, Tarlac was also grateful that their town will be able to benefit from PAGCOR’s MPEC project. “Itatayo ang PAGCOR evacuation center beside our Rural Health Unit 3 in Barangay Balayang. It will not just serve as temporary shelter during typhoons but will also be a venue for our livelihood and health programs such as vaccination activities,” he said.