A Regional Evacuation Center now stands on a 3,000 sq.m. property in San Jose, Antique. The building was funded thru the initiative of Senator Loren Legarda in 2016, with an allocation of P36-million under the DPWH.
While the structure is now complete and ready for use in the event of natural hazards in the Panay region, in Legarda’s mind, it is not yet finished. In her speech, she reminded the leaders of San Jose and Antique to integrate environmental laws to promote sustainable use of the building.
She gave some examples: the creation of a rainwater collection system on the roof of the building, planting of endemic trees to provide natural cooling around the building, creation of vegetable gardens instead of grass in vacant spaces around the building, implementation of RA9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management (ESWM) Law that promotes segregation of garbage at source, recycling, and composting, and many more.
Addressing Mayor Elmer Untaran, Legarda urged him to make his municipality an Eco-Town, with all its 28 barangays implementing ESWM. The ff should work closely: barangay leaders, local government and gov’t agencies such ad DepEd and DENR to do this. Aside from the health benefits of having clean air, clean water and a clean municipality, the town can also earn through micro-enterprises from environmental projects.
Legarda also announced that the NDRRMC Region VI, through ASec. Casiano Monilla, committed to construct evacuation centers in every municipality of Antique.
Joining Legarda were Former Governor Salvacion “Sally” Perez, Governor Rhodora “Dodod” Cadiao, Vice-Governor Edgar Denosta, San Jose Mayor Elmer Untaran, San Jose Vice-Mayorable Justin Delfin Encarnacion, Board Member candidate Alfie “Dondon” Niquia, Board Member Candidate Mayella Plameras, and Board Members Vincent Piccio III, Pio Sumande, and Fernando Corvera.
The event was attended by the barangay officials of San Jose, staff of Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, students of San Pedro National High School, pupils from Assemblyman Moscoso Elementary School, members of Ahon sa Hirap (ASH), and beneficiaries of 4Ps.
As a UN Global Champion for Resilience, UNFCCC National Adaptation Plan Champion, and Commissioner for Global Climate Adaptation, building resilience in every town, province and city in the country is a priority of Legarda.