Disaster preparedness shifted to a higher gear in this city of over 300,000 residents after the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) inaugurated on July 22, 2022 its first Multi-Purpose Evacuation Center (MPEC) in the province of Laguna.
The P50-million, two-storey structure was built in Barangay San Gregorio and boasts of state-of-the-art amenities like kitchen and storage areas, toilet and shower rooms for male and female, and lactating rooms for nursing mothers, among others. The facility will be maintained by the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO).
Former San Pablo City mayor-turned Laguna 3rd District representative Loreto Amante, who was joined in the inauguration ceremony by key PAGCOR officers, said that the newly-built MPEC will help boost the local government’s effort in ensuring the safety of their constituents during calamities and other emergency situations.
“This structure from PAGCOR will reinforce our efforts to keep our constituents safe from the dangers brought by various calamities. Our people now have a perfect place to stay when certain situations necessitate them to evacuation their homes. This will also serve not only the people of the barangay where it is located but also those from nearby communities,” he explained.
Amante added that the brand-new MPEC has also given the city government extra space to conduct several events and other special occasions that require spacious venues to comfortably accommodate guests and participants.
CDRRMO Administrative Officer Rolly Asaula said the newly-built MPEC enables them to work comfortably since they are able to hold office in one of the MPEC’s rooms at the ground flooor.
Apart from San Pablo City, other sites in Laguna that received funding from PAGCOR for the construction of MPECs were Cabuyao City and the towns of Calauan, Victoria and Luisiana. The construction of emergency facilities in these areas are ongoing.
PAGCOR has allotted a total of P3.5 billion for the construction of MPECs in 76 sites nationwide. Aside from San Pablo City, other locations that completed the construction of evacuation facilities include the provinces of Ilocos Sur, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Albay, Capiz and the towns of Sagñay, San Jose, Tigaon and Ocampo in Camarines Sur.