City needs P1.2B to transform barangay gyms into evacuation centers
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella said that P1.2 billion from the city’s local development fund can be used to renovate the barangay gyms in the city to make them “evacuation-ready.”
Labella said many disasters has struck the country from typhoons to the eruption of volcanoes, and it is necessary for Cebu City to be prepared for any disaster that may happen.
In previous statements, the mayor expressed his desire to renovate and improve all barangay gyms so they can be used as proper evacuation centers when the time comes.
On Monday, January 27, 2020, he urged the barangay chiefs to coordinate with the Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) and submit a project design along with a request for a budget to the mayor’s office and the Cebu City Council.
The mayor said that the barangays should lead in renovating the gyms because they are the ones who know what these gyms need.
In particular, the mayor wants the gyms to have more toilets and showers, second stories for more room, and improved amenities that can be used by the evacuees in times of disasters.
“We don’t have a volcano here, but we have typhoons and we have fires. We already have the structure, the barangay gyms. What we need is to improve them,” said Labella.
As a pilot project, the city government is already in talks with Barangay T. Padilla to upgrade its gym and make it evacuation-ready.
The mayor said that the barangay chief of T. Padilla has suggested using wood as the flooring of the second floor of the gym so that these can serve as cool sleeping space for evacuees as wood is cooler than concrete floors.
T. Padilla is believed to be an ideal pilot project for the upgrade since it is one of the most fire-prone barangays in the city.
At least 400 individuals recently lost their homes to a fire in the area early in January.
Labella said that if the barangays are willing, all 80 barangays will have one gym upgraded to become evacuation-ready.
“That’s our goal, that all barangays will have evacuation centers, all of them capable to house evacuees,” said the mayor.
The mayor also said he will prioritize fire-prone barangays such as Duljo Fatima and Ermita. /rcg
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