November 22 ------ President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday ordered the creation of evacuation centers “stronger than a typhoon” after a string of powerful storms lashed the country, forcing thousands of Filipinos to take temporary shelter in government facilities. “Alam mo, it is high time that government consider… na we build a strong structure, stronger than a typhoon that would come their way para mapuntahan ng mga tao and maybe small rooms with many comfort rooms where people can really stay for a while,” he said in his weekly address.
Duterte told Senator Bong Go, his long-time aide, to raise the improvement of evacuation centers in Congress. The President added that he assigned one person “to do all of these things, from the selection, appropriation, and everything,” without naming the official in charge. “As I have told you, we will look for a solution. Do not despair, kasi sabi ko nga noon e baka maawa ang Diyos, by December, January, meron na tayong makitang relief in sight,” he said, referring to the coronavirus pandemic.
Vice President Leni Robredo earlier suggested the creation of permanent, multi-story evacuation centers in flood-prone areas like Bicol, Samar, and Quezon. She also said that permanent evacuation centers can be built in “vulnerable” areas like Bicol, Samar, and Quezon. There was a string of weather disturbances that hit the country in the past weeks including Typhoon Rolly, in which some 110,000 Filipinos were displaced. When Typhoon Ulysses battered several parts of Luzon, over 283,000 families were forced to leave their homes.