The first evacuation center in Gonzaga, Cagayan opened at Barangay Smart, Municipal Compound after its inauguration ceremony led by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Region 02 and the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Gonzaga, August 28, 2018.
Equipped with spacious rooms and support facilities, the P14 million worth of modern infrastructure can accommodate 800 persons or about 300 households.
According to OIC Municipal Engineer Reymel Sedantes, 11 coastal barangays of Gonzaga will benefit in the project including Caroan, Casitan, Callao, Minanga, Batangan, Tapel, Amunitan, Sta. Cruz, Baua and San Jose.
Out of the 11 barangays, he said, Caroan is considered the most prone to floods, and storm surges, making them the regular evacuees of the town.
Lito Alinan, 37, a resident of Barangay Minanga said they always go to gymnasium and schools to evacuate whenever there is a reported typhoon in the area.
“When typhoon Lawin strike Cagayan, we don’t have a choice but to evacuate in the municipal gymnasium. It was so difficult back then, there were many evacuees and some portion of the gym has been damaged. It made us feel unsafe,” Alinan shared.
Because of their past typhoon experiences, LGU Gonzaga allotted a budget from the DILG’s Assistance to Disadvantage Municipalities (ADM) project in 2017.
ADM project is a Local Government Support Fund which seeks to equitably assist all municipalities in the delivery of basic services by providing them financial subsidy for the implementation of their priority programs and projects.
Mayor Marilyn Pentecostes said it is one of the biggest projects extended by the agency to LGU Gonzaga.
The evacuees, she said, will no longer go to gymnasiums and schools before and during the occurrence of calamities because they have already a permanent evacuation center, a safer and more comfortable one.
“This project is a big help to the people of Gonzaga. It is indeed heartwarming to witness amazing projects being implemented by our government, especially when we know that these projects are for the benefit of the Filipino people,” the mayor said.
Meanwhile, the beneficiaries feel safer and ready now in facing typhoons and other hazards in the future. “Now that the new evacuation center has been established, we feel more secured, thanks to LGU Gonzaga and DILG,” Alinan said.
Gonzaga has also other projects funded under DILG including the construction of the Tabbug Footbridge and concreting of local roads at Barangay Progressive and Callao.
# (Written by KC D. Sucuano/DILG R02 – RPMO)