SENATOR Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan urges the construction of dual-purpose buildings that serve as evacuation centers during calamities and drying facilities during harvest season.
Pangilinan said these buildings will be a win-win development for government as these can serve dual roles for those potential victims of strong typhoons as well as the local farmers.
“Taon-taon tayong binibisita ng bagyo. As part of our disaster risk mitigation, government should put enough budget for the construction of these dual-purpose buildings,” he said.
“Pwedeng evacuation center yung ground floor tapos yung bubong, semento at patag para pwedeng drying area. Sabi ng kaibigan kong civil engineer, i-design lang daw na hindi popondohan ng tubig ang concrete na bubong,” he added.
As of December 23, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said, 136,369 houses were damaged due to the typhoon. Of these, 52,736 were completely flattened by Odette, while 83,633 were recorded as partially damaged.
The agency said damage to agriculture has also ballooned to over P1.152 billion. Odette has affected 15,845 hectares of crop area in eight regions. Infrastructure damage meanwhile is estimated at P2.537 billion.
The former food security secretary cited data from the Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC), which says that the country is visited by at least 20 typhoons annually, five of which are destructive.
Pangilinan said the recent onslaught of Typhoon Odette that ravaged the northern parts of Mindanao and southern portions of Visayas, and Palawan should serve as an eye-opener for the national government.
“Nakita natin ang importansya ng ganitong mga building sa Odette. Kailangang unahin ang pagsagip sa buhay ng mga nasalanta, at hindi mapunta ang calamity fund sa mga kurakot. Iba pang disaster yun,” he said.
Pangilinan said disaster-proofing the country will also prepare us for the effects of climate crisis.
“Nararamdaman na ngayon pa lang ng mga nagtatanim ang bunga ng climate crisis. Mas hirap nang mag-predict ng panahon. Farmers can no longer assume that each year there will be the same seasons because that is not the reality nowadays. Kaya dapat mas handa tayo,” he said.