President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday night said the government should consider building sturdier evacuation centers in the wake of recent typhoons that battered parts of the country.
In a taped public address, Duterte stressed the need to build more disaster-resilient structures where people can take refuge during calamities instead of using school buildings as evacuation centers.
“It is high time that government consider really, of course, in the government units facing the Pacific Ocean, gamit na gamit ito na (it’s overused) we build a strong structure, stronger than a typhoon that would come their way para mapuntahan ng mga tao (where people can take refuge), and maybe small rooms with many comfort rooms where people can really stay for awhile,” he said.
Turning schools into evacuation centers, he said, creates an “aberration” in the movement or in the development of the different governmental functions and education.
Duterte expressed hope that the Congress would help address the situation.
“Iyan nga ang sanang tugunan ng Congress, [Senator] Bong [Go], kasi pagka itong ganitong (I hope the Congress will address this, Bong, because when there is) a deluge, they tend to go to places for shelter and relief,” he said.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año also said the country is experiencing a shortage in evacuation centers.
He, however, assured that minimum health and safety standards are observed amid the prevailing coronavirus disease pandemic.
“Maganda po rin ang pagkaka-observe ng mga minimum health standard protocols. Pero nakita po pa rin namin ‘yung kakulangan ng ating mga evacuation centers (They are observing minimum health standard protocols. But we see that there is a lack of evacuation centers),” he said.
Duterte earlier ordered the creation of a task force to implement immediate solutions to disaster rehabilitation and recovery of typhoon-hit areas outside of the current bureaucratic framework.
An executive order to form the task force is being drafted, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said. (PNA)