QUEZON CITY – The Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) has finalized three more pacts with local government units as part of the ongoing efforts to beef up the country’s disaster preparedness.
On Friday, DHSUD Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario signed Memorandums of Agreement with local chief executives from the municipalities of Taal and Balete in Batangas and Atimonan, Quezon which will pave the way for the construction of resettlement sites and evacuation center in the areas.
The accords are likewise in compliance with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s directive to capacitate LGUs across the country in mitigating the adverse effects of natural and man-made calamities.
“These MOAs are part of government efforts to bolster the country’s capability in minimizing the impact of disasters. As we all know, our country is often struck by calamities like typhoons and earthquakes every year,” Secretary Del Rosario stressed.
“It is part of our mandate to help LGUs bolster their capabilities in addressing such challenges and assist in disaster preparedness,” the housing czar added.
Witnessing the MOA-signing, spearheaded by DHSUD Regional Office 4A Director Jann Roby Otero at the Central Office boardroom, were Assistant Secretary for Regional Operations Daryll Bryan Villanueva and other Department officials.
The pacts with Taal and Balete are meant to benefit constituents who were affected by the 2020 Taal Volcano eruption. The resettlement sites will be constructed through the socialized housing compliance program.
Meanwhile, the accord with Atimonan seeks to build an evacuation center that will serve as a temporary shelter for local communities affected by typhoons.
“The President instructed us to prioritize the construction of these centers in the eastern border, which is prone to strong and destructive storms,” the DHSUD chief said.
According to Secretary Del Rosario, DHSUD has actively been engaging with LGUs particularly around Taal Volcano for the construction of such facilities, stating that the government is planning to establish an evacuation center belt in Batangas.
Three evacuation centers have previously been turned over to the LGUs of Alitagtag, Sta. Teresita and Mataasnakahoy all in Batangas while a fourth such facility is being eyed in Nasugbu.
The local chief executives, for their part, expressed gratitude to the government, especially to DHSUD, for supporting their initiatives in constructing the resettlement sites and evacuation center. (30) — CVC