by Irma A. Guhit
School (SPES) here has been piloted by the United Nations Habitat Philippines (UNHP) as a school mitigating , adapting risk and threat (SMART) school.
SPES, has been identified to serve as evacuation center, with some modification in the edifices and facilities to ensure a safe relocation area and can withstand the effects of typhoons, floods, erosion and other natural calamities.
“Investing in Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation (CCMA) is investing in the future” Mayor Leovic R. Dioneda, of this city said in his opening message here last week during the training of the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (MDRRMC) in time for the observance National Disaster Consciousness Month this July.
Dioneda explained that this city has been a recipient of the the UNHP assistance for technical training and facilitation of fund sourcing specially in programs regarding CCMA implementation.
“We have identified SPES as our SMART school here, one of the most used evacuation centers that through the years as a place for people to go during natural calamities”, he said.
Recently, representative from UNHP explained the need to identify and establish a SMART school in this city.
“Based on the UNHP requirements, the evacuation center has to undergo retro-fitting and be water- fit so that It can withstand the effects of typhoons and other natural calamities to ensure that evacuees are housed in very safe centers and provided also the needed basic amenities,” according to Dioneda.
The two-day seminar workshop has identified the participation of people from the engineering departments of the city government and other government entities together with some non-governmental organizations that provide coordination, facilitation and camp management.
The engineering department of the city has conducted the ocular inspection, evaluation and validation of SPES. They will submit the design for renovation following the guidelines or criteria set by UNHP for safe and sustainable evacuation centers.
“We have to make the school as a safe evacuation center that can withstand the wind strength , volume or amount of water and also consider its location since it is near Sorsogon Bay,” Engr. Onofre Jordan from the city government planning division said.