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Opinion

EDITORIAL - Consider permanent structures for evacuations

The Freeman
EDITORIAL - Consider permanent structures for evacuations

In an editorial last year we brought up the idea that it might be to the benefit of all if the government builds permanent structures that can be used to house victims of calamities, man-made or otherwise.

This issue becomes timely again after 944 families were left homeless by the recent fire that destroyed over 500 houses in Barangay Mambaling in Cebu City.

For now the proposal to house the fire victims at the Alaska Elementary School has the green light of education officials. Fortunately for the fire victims, the pupils of the school are also not going there right now so the families can be expected to use the facility without interfering in their education.

During the pre-COVID era school operations were often disrupted when they would be used to house victims left homeless by whatever calamity hit. And because schools were not meant to be lived in 24/7, that also meant additional wear and tear on school structures and facilities that, of course, also requires more upkeep and repairs after everything is said and done.

Again, we say that the government should study making permanent structures that can be used as an evacuation center in times like these.

It doesn’t have to be an evacuation center exclusively. It can be designed to house evacuees when needed, but also serve other purposes during the times when they are not used for that specific purpose, like storage or even temporary barangay administrative offices.

We realize that some people may find this a difficult time to push for such an idea. The pandemic and everything that has resulted from it demands most of our attention, efforts, as well as a huge part of resources and public funds.

However, if they can get it to work, we can spare the schools during times of extreme need. We can also have a place where evacuees can be quickly brought to and temporarily sheltered in case of unforeseen events.

This situation where the students are not using the schools is only temporary. But we can expect the occurrence of calamities, whether man-made or otherwise, to never end.

CALAMITY

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