LEGAZPI CITY — The provincial government of Albay signed an agreement with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to formalize the construction of six multi- storey permanent evacuation centers in the towns of Manito, Sto Domingo, Oas, Libon and Polangui, and in this city.
Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, together with Nagaishi Masfumi, JICA country representative, signed a memorandum of agreement to jump start the construction of a ₱480 million risk reduction project composed of six permanent evacuation centers in Albay
Salceda said “the project is part of the disaster risk reduction program instituted by the Albay Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC), where the council plans to build six additional provincial evacuation centers bringing to a total of nine evacuation centers put up across the province.
According to the detailed plan, each of the project will cost P80 million to establish.
Salceda said the project was the biggest investment program in pursuing disaster risk reduction (DRR) in the country, specifically in Albay.
He said “the JICA project is a single biggest assistance given by the Japanese government in addressing the province “Zero Casualty” goal in times of disasters such as Mayon eruption, floodings, lahar flows and landslides.
Under the agreement, the JICA will finance the construction of six permanent evacuation centers, which can be used as school classrooms in normal condition.
He said the edifice would be constructed in the towns and city central elementary schools of the Department of Education (DepEd). The center can accommodate 10 percent of the total evacuees expected to house in various evacuation centers in times of disasters.
Salceda said the three existing permanent evacuation center were put up in the towns of Daraga, Camalig, and Guinobatan, where two-storey type evacuation center edifice can accommodate some 250 families or 1,250 people.
He said the permanent evacuation centers had been a value added disaster mitigating measure funded by the Spanish government, through the AECID which had been completed and turned over to the respective local government units.
The provincial evacuation centers will declog the existing school building used as evacuation centers in times of calamities.
The strategy makes classes in all public schools in affected areas to continue smoothly and unhampered despite the influx of evacuees in time of calamities. This will combine safety and educational outcome, he said.
Salceda said that in normal situation, the building could also be converted into a 20-classroom type school building.
Some ₱660 million funding is expected to be spent for the construction of the nine provincial evacuation centers, with ₱180 million coming from AECID and another ₱480 million from JICA .
He said the construction would start next year following the completion of detailed engineering plan this year.