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Pagcor to provide P2 billion for evacuation facilities

PHILIPPINE AMUSEMENT and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) said it will provide P2 billion to help build multi-purpose evacuation centers in provinces vulnerable to typhoons.

Pagcor Chairman and CEO Andrea D. Domingo said in a statement Tuesday that the gaming regulator will fund the project despite the losses it suffered from the suspension of gaming activities during the pandemic.

“Despite our revenue losses, we have committed to provide a long-term solution to the most vulnerable sectors and communities,” Ms. Domingo was quoted as saying.

Pagcor’s net profit fell 97% year on year to P132.675 million in the nine months to September, while gaming revenue fell 60% to P22.327 billion.

Gaming establishments are currently closed or operating at a reduced capacity.

Pagcor said 32 evacuation centers will be constructed in 31 locations. The facilities will be built in Albay, Aurora, Batangas, Camarines Sur, Capiz, Ilocos Sur, Laguna, Marikina, Mountain Province, Northern Samar, Oriental Mindoro, Pampanga, Quezon, Romblon, Rizal, Southern Leyte, Tarlac and Zamboanga del Sur.

Ms. Domingo said the project was first proposed in 2018 and is awaiting input like design and detailed costing.

She said the funds will be sent to local government units hosting the facilities once the details of the project are ironed out.

The centers come in three types — basketball courts that can be repurposed during emergencies as evacuation centers, at a cost of P12.7 million each; roofed arenas with bleachers and toilets that can also be roped in as evacuation facilities, at a cost of P27.9 million each; and P50 million two-storey multi-purpose buildings with store rooms for emergency supplies.

The multiple storms that hit the country during recent weeks are thought to have caused P90 billion worth of damage. — Beatrice M. Laforga

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