/ 13 October 2022

SENATOR Pia Cayetano sought the construction of more evacuation centers to stop the practice of using schools as shelter for victims of calamities.

She said that Republic Act 10821 or the Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act prohibits the use of school buildings as evacuation centers unless it is absolutely necessary.

During the hearing on the proposed 2023 budget of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Cayetano asked the department to identify calamity-prone areas.

“Do you have a database on the calamity-prone areas that do not have facilities other than the school as evacuation center, so that you can prioritize the construction of evacuation centers because this is directly aligned with our desire that the kids are all back in face-to-face school,” Cayetano said.

In response, DSWD Secretary Erwin Tulfo said that he already suggested to the President the building of a permanent evacuation center in every city and municipality.

Tulfo stressed that he also believes that education must not be disrupted during calamities.