PEnABLANCA, Cagayan, April 22 (PIA) - - A Php34.5 million worth evacuation center was inaugurated in Lagum benefitting residents of the five barangays in this town.
Lagum is composed of five barangayas to include Manga, Nabbabalayan, Buyun, Minanga and Lapi.
Being the first of its kind, the building was established in the innermost part of the town by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) through the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) and the office of 3rd District Representative Joseph "Jojo" Lara.
The building, which measures 3,000 square meters in floor area, has several rooms including a kitchen, comfort rooms, and a very wide hall with an indoor basketball court.
Representative Lara said that the project was originally designed to be an evacuation center to cater the five barangays in the Lagum area and was supposed to be completed last year. However, due to the pandemic, the construction phases were slightly delayed.
"We will further improve this facility to make it more conducive to the people who will be using this. We will allot P5 million to pave the facade. We will also make this a child-friendly facility," Lara said.
Civil Defense Regional Director Harold Cabreros also said that the building will not only serve as an evacuation center as it can be a multi-purpose facility for assemblies, barangay affairs, and can even be rented for private gatherings and affairs.
"However, if there are calamities or there are evacuees, the priority should be the evacuees. We are not praying that there will be disasters to come, but this is a preparation in anticipation to any [eventual calamity] that may cause evacuations," Cabreros said.
The officials also agreed to convert the facility as an isolation facility for the meantime to help address congestion problems in the existing quarantine and isolation facilities caused by the rising cases of COVID-19.
"We will look [for] additional funds to make this an isolation facility in response to our problem on the isolation of our COVID positive cases, [and include the] establishment of partitions, [hiring of workforce], and likewise the [provision of] food of those who will be isolated here," Lara said.
On her part, Vice Mayor Marilyn J. Taguinod expressed her gratitude for the construction of the facility in the town, which is also among the areas that are frequently hit by typhoons.
She also said that, originally, the project was supposed to be erected in the Callao area, but due to unavailability of lots during the initial phase of the building construction, it was brought to Lagum with the land donated by the family of Mayor Washington Taguinod.
However, Representative Lara still promised to build another evacuation center for the barangays located in Callao, which are low-lying and vulnerable to flooding. (JCK/OTB/PIA-Cagayan)