By Liza Soriano
The scene at a jampacked basketball gym-turned-evacuation center (OCHA photo courtesy)
MANILA — Senator Raffy Tulfo has filed a bill seeking to establish evacuation centers in every municipality and city in the country.
The country has 1,488 municipalities and 146 cities.
Tulfo emphasized the necessity for evacuation centers with basic amenities, a convenient location, and sufficient emergency supplies, such as water, medication, and relief products in drafting Senate Bill (SB) No. 1652, given that the Philippines is one of the most typhoon-prone countries in the world.
“When disaster and calamities strike, covered courts, gymnasiums, schools, and even churches serve as evacuation areas to shelter affected residents and families,” the bill’s explanatory note read.
“These areas are jam-packed when the situation worsens. Diseases; existing and unforeseen may also spread because these areas do not meet standard measures for a proper and well-ventilated evacuation center,” it added.
Under SB No. 1652, each location for every evacuation center shall be determined by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), in close coordination with the LGUs concerned.