By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
TO IMPROVE the city’s disaster resilience to disasters, the Iloilo City Government on Tuesday signed a usufruct agreement with the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Region 6 for a 5,000-square meter property in Barangay Tacas, Jaro district, Iloilo City.
The agreement will pave the way for the construction of a P36.5-million Regional Evacuation Center (REC) and multi-purpose covered court.
Mayor Jerry Treñas said the construction of the two infrastructures will start early next year.
“We are allowing the Office of the Civil Defense to use a portion of the property of the city in Tacas, Jaro consisting of 5,000 square meters for the regional center and the regional depot of OCD. We are very happy to enter with this partnership. We look forward for the construction of the two infrastructures which will be done hopefully early next year,” Treñas said.
Treñas said the evacuation center will be helpful in times of disasters not only to the residents of the metro but also to its neighboring municipalities.
The mayor led the signing of the usufruct agreement with OCD Regional Director Jose Robert Nuñez, Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Federation President and Councilor Leila Luntao and Ma. Aletha Nogra, head of OCD-Western Visayas Disaster Risk Reduction Management Division.
Once completed, Nuñez said the Regional Evacuation Center in Jaro will be the 13th evacuation center in the region.
According to Nuñez, the evacuation center can cater to 530 individuals while the multi-purpose covered court can serve as a warehouse for the non-food items of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
“We don’t have a proper evacuation center here and so we would like to extend our gratefulness to the city government for this,” he said.
Last August, OCD 6 also turned over the P32-million Regional Evacuation Center to the town of Zarraga.