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Spare the schools: Sorsogon lawmaker Escudero bats for evac centers in each Barangay

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If Sorsogon 1st District Rep. Evelina “Nanay Evie” Escudero would have her way, then every Barangay in the country would have a multi-purpose building that can serve as an evacuation center during times of calamities or disasters.

This is embodied in House Bill (HB) no.05150, which the Bicolano politiko filed this 17th Congress.

In the Philippines, it’s commonplace for existing public infrastructures to be used as evacuation centers. “Schools, covered courts, and even churches are used as evacuation centers, but the problem of congestion put children, pregnant women, senior citizens and the disabled at risk,” Nanay Evie noted.

Currently the chairperson of Committee on Basic Education and Culture, Congresswoman Escudero emphasized her concern on using schools as evacuation centers, saying “designation of public schools as evacuation centers must be minimized, if not completely eradicated”.

“This practice causes disruption in the schedule and education of our school children and even put many of the evacuees in dire danger,” explained Escudero, who is a former teacher.

“Further, those temporary evacuation centers may be located in unsafe areas or not structurally designed to withstand typhoons and strong earthquakes or its aftershocks,” she added.

In her proposed bill, Escudero said the multi-purpose buildings to be used as evacuation centers would strategically be located in each barangay and should resist natural calamities.

The building may also be available for other public purposes or events when available.