MANKAYAN, Benguet – The municipal government will provide the funds for the put up of some nine evacuation centers in strategic areas in the municipality to improve the existing disaster risk reduction and management strategies and prevent the unnecessary loss of lives and damage to properties when natural and man-made calamities occur.
Mayor Frenzel A. Ayong said that funds for the put up of the different evacuation centers come from the 20 percent local development fund of the municipal government and these will be implemented in phases until their completion.
The evacuation centers will be constructed in the different barangays in Am-am, Balili; Caew, Bulalacao; Payeo, Bedbed; Malinang, Cabiten; Palasaan; Basig-Taneg; Nursery, Sapid; Lower and Upper Pukitan, both in Paco.
Mayor Ayong pointed out that the municipal government has to work on the implementation of programmed development projects funded under the annual budget of the municipality that were not affected by the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) so that there will be interventions that will also help in slowly, safely and cautiously opening up the local economy.
While the heavy impact of the pandemic had not been felt in the municipality because of the continuous income of government workers and those in the essential businesses coupled with the sale of the agricultural produce of farmers, the municipal chief executive stated there is still a need to allow the implementation of already funded projects to provide individuals alternative sources of income.
According to him, the location of the evacuation centers had been well planned by the concerned offices of the municipal government for these to cater to the needs of the people living in areas that can be affected by natural and man-made calamities in the future.
He explained that the different evacuation center projects will be implemented in phases because the municipal government has limited resources, thus, whatever available funds that could be allotted for the projects will be provided in the upcoming annual budget of the municipality.
Ayong added that some of the evacuation center projects are already on their second and third phases while the put up of the other facilities will be entering their first phases and it will take some time for the same to be completed although some centers can already be used temporarily.
Aside from being an evacuation center, the mayor claimed that the structures that will be constructed could also be used as multipurpose centers when there are no emergency situations or calamities and when mass gatherings will be allowed by the national and local inter-agency task forces on emerging infectious diseases.
He said that the municipal government will continue to source out funds from various sources to ensure continuing appropriations is provided for the identified priority projects of the municipal government to enhance its disaster risk reduction and management programs, projects and activities. By HENT