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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Pagcor inaugurates P50-million evacuation facility, first in Northern Samar

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CATARMAN, Northern Samar—The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) inaugurated its first multi-purpose evacuation facility in this province.

The two-story building that cost P50 million is the biggest evacuation structure to be built in Catarman’s Barangay Polangi, which usually has one of the highest numbers of displaced families whenever natural disasters strike.

Catarman Mayor Francisco Aurelio E. Rosales III expressed his appreciation for the new facility.

“PAGCOR’s evacuation center is an example of how a national government project trickles down to local communities to benefit our entire population. I hope that we can continue to strengthen our partnership with PAGCOR,” he said.

The lack of evacuation facilities in the municipality is one of the major challenges of the local government unit in disaster response, said Catarman Municipal Risk Reduction Officer Emerald Guevarra.

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“We have 55 barangays, but we only have ten designated evacuation centers and most of them are schools, chapels and other private establishments. These are not enough because of Catarman’s huge population,” she said.

Guevarra said global warming has made disaster response more challenging for the local government with each passing year.

One of the priorities of the Catarman government is the construction of safe shelters where people could stay during dire situations but lack of funding has stalled such efforts.

“This PAGCOR-funded evacuation center here in Barangay Polangi is
really a game changer when it comes to the risk mitigation efforts of
the Catarman LGU,” Guevarra said. “Now we can cater to a larger
population; hindi na din kami mahihirapan dahil may maio-offer na
kaming safe at komportableng evacuation facility.”

Aside from the Catarman project, two-story evacuation facilities are
also being constructed in the towns of Maslog and Borongan in Eastern
Samar, and both have received Php50 million funding each from PAGCOR.

To date, a total of 36 PAGCOR evacuation facilities in various parts
of the country have been completed while 36 are still under

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