In a bid to establish a disaster-resilient evacuation center, the City Government of Malaybalay led the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Php 34-million single-storey evacuation building on February 26, 2020.

The multi-million project was a grant sourced from the national government through the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). This is in coordination with the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) Region 10 who identified and recommended Malaybalay City as one of the priority recipients.

OCD-10 Regional Director Rosauro Arnel Q. Gonzales, Jr., DPWH Engr. Josephine Caiña and officials from the Philippine Army graced the momentous undertaking held at Diversion road, Casisang, Malaybalay City. In attendance from the City Government, were City Administrator Herculano S. Ronolo, Executive Assistant to the City Mayor Brian Nelson T. Flores, City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council members and City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office personnel.

Ronolo said it is high time for the cityfolk to have an established evacuation center like this because in the past we have been using barangay covered courts and classrooms not meant for long term occupation, if the need arises. “We do not wish to use the evacuation center but in worst case scenario it is crucial,” he added.

Meanwhile, OCD Director Gonzales said that the facility is not applicable only to those who are affected by natural hazards such as typhoon, flood and landslide, but as well as internally displaced persons (IDPs) caused by social disorganization and conflict.

Gonzales added that the soon to rise building will have a learning room for IDP children, medical clinic, functional pharmacy, laundry and washing area, comfort rooms for male and female that can accommodate 15 persons at a time and a power generator.

The facility has a land area of 3,000 square meters owned by the City Government. Since its groundbreaking, the construction has started last January 16, 2020 tagged with 180 working days to complete.

Equipped with hazard-adaptive and needs sensitive evacuation, it can accommodate at least 106 families displaced by natural and human-induced disasters, according to DPWH.

To ensure workable and efficient operation of the facility, it also provides office for evacuation center manager and for the operations and communication team.

NADA Report by: Arian Johnson Cagaanan, CDRRMO