Frequently battered by natural disasters that force residents to flee their homes, this town finally saw the inauguration of a new evacuation facility that helps boost the local government’s disaster preparedness efforts.
On November 24, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) inaugurated the two-story multi-purpose evacuation building in Barangay Madulao, one of the most populated villages in the municipality of Catanauan.
The Php50 million structure is the fifth PAGCOR multi-purpose evacuation center to be constructed in Quezon province, and Catanauan is among the areas that usually suffer from devastating typhoons but lacked facilities to shelter locals during severe storms.
Catanauan Mayor Atty. Ramon Orfanel said PAGCOR’s multi-purpose structure will help the local government ensure the safety of residents in case they need immediate evacuation in the future.
“We can’t thank PAGCOR enough for this state-of-the-art building. While we are always on guard against natural calamities, we lack comfortable facilities for our people who are most vulnerable to the impact of natural disasters.
“Having a structure like this will help address that problem and enhance our emergency preparedness,” the local chief executive said.
Orfanel added that when not being used as an evacuation site, the multi-purpose center can serve as a venue for special activities and even as an extension office of the Catanauan LGU.
“This will definitely bring government services closer to the people of Barangay Madulao and the residents of nearby villages. Napakalaki ng magiging kapakinabangan ng gusaling ito sa amin. This will really help us bring better services to multitudes in our town,” the mayor said.
Madulao Barangay Captain Ricardo Agaton, who graced the inauguration for the facility, said their village was fortunate to have been chosen as site for the multi-purpose building.
He said Typhoon Glenda was the most destructive cyclone to hit the town in 2014, necessitating the evacuation of thousands of families after their homes and properties were destroyed by strong winds and massive flooding.
“Napakasuwerte namin na ang aming barangay ang napiling pagtayuan ng multi-purpose evacuation center ng PAGCOR.
“Ngayon po ay mababawasan na kahit papaano ang aming pag-aalala sa kaligtasan ng aming mga mamamayan sa mga panahon ng kalamidad dahil may malapit, matibay at komportableng lugar na silang masisilungan kapag kailangan nilang lumikas,” Agaton said.
To date, a total of 37 PAGCOR evacuation facilities have been completed nationwide, while 36 remain under construction.