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Quezon province now more calamity-ready with the opening of PAGCOR-funded emergency shelters in two towns

Quezon MPEC
PAGCOR’s VP for Corporate Social Responsibility Group Ramon Stephen Villaflor (seated, 3rd from left) and AVP for Community Relations and Services Eric Balcos (seated, 2nd from right) pose for a photo opportunity with Plaridel Municipal Mayor Jose Saavedra (seated, 3rd from right) and other town officials during the inauguration of a basketball court-type evacuation building in Barangay Tanauan.

THE province of Quezon has become more prepared against future calamities after the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) inaugurated newly-built emergency shelters in two municipalities on April 14 and 15, 2023.

PAGCOR unveiled a two-storey multipurpose evacuation center (MPEC) worth P50 million at Barangay Camflora in the distant San Andres town, which, for a long time lacked emergency shelters for families and individuals who are affected by various calamities.

Quezon MPEC
The PAGCOR-funded emergency structure in San Andres stands prominently amid a backdrop of greenery in the town’s Barangay Camflora.

The state-run gaming firm also formally inaugurated a basketball court-type multipurpose evacuation structure amounting to P12.7 million at a small community in the fifth-class municipality of Plaridel. The evacuation facility will help address the town’s perennial need for a permanent site to safely accommodate locals during emergency situations.

Located in the mountainside community of Barangay Tanauan, the new evacuation structure in Plaridel will provide a spacious venue for residents from the town’s nine villages, whenever they will need to flee their homes in times of calamities.

Quezon MPEC
Officials and employees of the local government of Plaridel join PAGCOR’s VP for Corporate Social Responsibility Group Ramon Stephen Villaflor (holding symbolic key) in a photo opportunity after formally opening the much-awaited evacuation facility funded by the agency.

Being situated in coastal communities, the towns of San Andres and Plaridel frequently suffer from extreme weather disturbances such as storm surge and severe flooding.

San Andres Municipal Mayor Ralph Edward Lim, who graced the inauguration of the two-storey evacuation facility in Barangay Camflora, thanked PAGCOR for helping ensure the safety of his constituents. “Maswerte po ako na sa panahon ng panunungkulan ko ay hindi pa tinatamaan ng matinding kalamidad ang aming bayan. Pero mas maswerte ang aming mga mamamayan dahil hindi pa man sumasapit ang pagkakataong kinakailangan nilang lumikas ay naririto na at nakatayo ang isang maganda’t matibay na gusaling kanilang masisilungan mula sa PAGCOR.”

Raul Endonila, Barangay Chairman of Camflora, San Andres also shared that he had witnessed many times in the past how his over 8,000 constituents struggled to cope with the impact of severe natural disasters. The village chief added that for many years, Camflora has been one of the areas in San Andres that reeled hard from the aftermath of calamities.

Quezon MPEC
Workers of the local government unit of Plaridel cheerfully thank PAGCOR for funding the construction of a multipurpose evacuation structure in the town’s Barangay Tanauan.

“Napakahirap po ng aming kalagayan sa napakahabang panahon dahil sa kawalan ng sapat na matutuluyan ng mga residenteng naghahanap ng ligtas na masisilungan sa tuwing may banta ng panganib ng malalakas na bagyo sa aming lalawigan. Ngayon, may maayos at napakagandang gusali na silang mapupuntahan kapag sila’y nag-alala sa kanilang kaligtasan sa ilang sitwasyon,” he emotionally shared. Plaridel Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer Rodenel Vera Cruz, meanwhile, expressed relief that the locals in their town will no longer endure the difficulty of staying in cramped structures whenever they need to evacuate.

“Naging pangkaraniwan na po kasi sa mga mamamayan dito ang paglikas tuwing may malalakas na bagyo at matitinding pagbaha. Ang hindi po nila makasanayan eh ang hirap na kanilang nararanasan sa pagsisiksikan sa mga paaralan at barangay halls tuwing kinakailangan nilang lumikas. Kaya’t isa pong napakalaking tulong at ginhawa para sa aming munting bayan ang pagkakaroon ng isang permanenteng evacuation site mula sa PAGCOR,” he said.

To date, a total of 26 MPECs have been fully built and unveiled nationwide, while 51 are still undergoing construction.

Quezon MPEC
(left photo) PAGCOR’s VP for Corporate Social Responsibility Group Ramon Stephen Villafor (2nd from right) and San Andres Municipal Mayor Ralph Edward Lim (4th from left) unveil the PAGCOR emblem of the newly-built two-storey multipurpose evacuation center in Barangay Camflora, while the agency’s Senior Manager for Special Projects Maria Eliza Cruz (extreme right) and other town officials look on. (right photo) Plaridel town’s brand new emergency shelter is adorned with a PAGCOR logo at its façade.
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