Construction of a P33.5-million evacuation center in Zamboanga City began on Monday, December 10. The project is a joint initiative of the Zamboanga City government, the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO), and the Department of Public Works and Highways, who will provide the funding.
Private firm Metro Stonerich Corporation was awarded the contract for the project. Completion of the center is expected in 180 calendar days.
According to Dr. Elmeir Jade Apolinario, chief of Zamboanga City’s CDRRMO, the center will rise on a 2,000-square meter lot in Cabatangan village. The site was identified in early November by the City government, however the LGU still had to coordinate with the National Government to secure the necessary funding for the project.
The planned evacuation center will consist of three buildings and have a capacity of 500 families. In case of calamity, the building will be able to provide temporary shelter to the city’s displaced residents.
Apolinario said that the evacuation center is part of the city’s adherence to the required stipulations under Republic Act 10121, or the Philippines Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010.
Two other evacuation facilities are to be built in Zamboanga City. These will be in the Zamboanga Economic Zone and Freeport area in Talisayan to serve the west coast and in either Curuan or Vitali towns to serve the east coast.
Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar also said that the City Government has earmarked a “certain amount” of its 2019 budget for the purchase of modular tents and mobile toilets. These would be deployed to hazard areas in times of calamity, to complement the capacity of the soon-to-rise evacuation center.