BAUKO, Mountain Province – The local government donated some 2,000 square meters of its property in Poblacion as the site of the evacuation center to be put up by the Cordillera office of Civil Defense (OCD-CAR) to help strengthen disaster risk reduction and management in the province.
Mayor Abraham B. Akilit pointed out that the local government’s donation of the lot for an evacuation center in the province is for the greater interest of the people of the province.
“We never intended to steal the limelight from any other local government when we tried our best to catch up with the prescribed deadline to prevent the funds earmarked for the project from being reverted to the general fund. Our primary purpose is for the province to have its own evacuation center whether it will be located inside or outside Bauko,” Akilit stressed.
The local chief executive pointed out that the funds was earlier offered to the provincial government for the identification of the site where the evacuation center could be constructed but the OCD-CAR cannot wait as funds earmarked for the project was about to revert to the general fund.
Upon learning that the funds will be reverted and that it will be difficult again for the province to seek for a similar appropriation, Akilit signified the local government’s intention to donate a portion of its property having a total land area of approximately 2,000 square meters just to make sure that the funds will not be reverted to the national fund.
According to him, had he closed his eyes on the matter, the desire of the OCD-CAR to have an evacuation center in the province could not be realized considering that the over P36 million earmarked for the project could have reverted to the general fund if the local government’s donation was not perfected the soonest.
He assured concerned stakeholders that once the construction of the evacuation center will be completed, it will be open to disaster victims from the different parts of the province as this is primarily intended as a provincial evacuation center but it will be under the care of the municipal government.
Under existing laws, rules and regulations, local governments wanting to host the put up of an evacuation center should provide the necessary government-owned lot where the structure will be erected while the OCD will provide the required funding for the project.
The evacuation center that will be constructed will serve as a temporary shelter for calamity-stricken individuals whose lives and properties are threatened by natural calamities.
Akilit added the local government has substantial properties which it could donate to interested government agencies wanting to establish their regional or provincial offices in the municipality, thus, he is awaiting the declaration of interest by the concerned officials for the finlazaition of whatever agreements for the realization of the put up of satellite offices of agencies in the locality.
Bauko is considered to be the vote-rich municipality in the province and serves as the headwaters of various major river systems providing abundant water to the lowland communities.