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Japan OKs P400M in grant for Albay disaster shelters

/ 11:19 PM August 19, 2011

LEGAZPI CITY—The Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) and the Philippine government, through the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), have signed an agreement that would give Albay P404-million in grant to build permanent shelters for victims of disasters in the province.

Abundio Nuñez Jr., technical operations chief of the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (Apsemo), said the signing of the grant agreement was held in Manila on Aug. 18.

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He said the project, conceptualized by the Albay provincial government through the Albay Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, sought to establish permanent evacuation centers in five disaster-prone towns and in this city.

The emergency shelters, each estimated to cost at least P66 million, would be built starting next year in the municipalities of Manito, Sto. Domingo, Libon, Oas, Polangui and here, Nuñez said.

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These towns have been prone to landslides and floods during the rainy season. Areas surrounding Mt. Mayon, particularly Legazpi City, are also often threatened by lahar flow coming from the slopes of the volcano.

Aside from being multi-hazard evacuation centers that would cater to residents fleeing their homes during emergencies or disasters, the buildings could also be used as classrooms on normal days, he said.

The evacuation centers would be designed to comply with the needs of people with disabilities, children, elders and women, he said.

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda said the emergency shelters would also provide haven for those fleeing domestic violence or other abuses.

The shelters, he said, were envisioned to ensure safety and provide food, services, comfort, information and a place to sleep for evacuees until it was safe for them to return home.

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TAGS: Albay, disaster, Foreign aid, Japan, JICA
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