Diocese, Caritas constructing P4.5-M evacuation center in Virac

A concrete evacuation center costing P4.5 million is being built by Caritas Virac Justice and Peace, Inc. for use of vulnerable residents of seven barangays in the capital town.

Intended to be a hub for residents from Tubaon and neighboring barangays of Buyo, Hicming, Poniton and even the three Dugui barangays, the structure is being funded by the Agencia Espanola de Cooperacion Internacional (AECID) and Caritas Espanola through Caritas Philippines, with Caritas Virac as implementing partner.

THE BISHOP OF VIRAC, Msgr. Manolo delos Santos, together with Tubaon barangay chairman Benjie Quintal breaks ground for the construction of a P4.5 million evacuation center and multi-purpose hall at a donated lot near the Tubaon-Hicming road junction last May 27, 2022.

Caritas Virac executive director Rev. Fr. Reynato dela Rosa said the project is being undertaken by administration following the groundbreaking held May 27 at the lot donated by businesswoman Concepcion A. Co located just below the Philippine Army detachment and less than a hundred meters from the Tubaon-Hicming junction.

With a capacity of 80 persons, the proposed building is being erected in a slightly elevated area and is not prone to flooding, Rev. Fr. Dela Rosa disclosed.

It will have a floor area of 222 square meters with slab roofing and steel casement windows while the open area will be partitioned by curtains on hangers during calamities to allow the evacuees some privacy. It will also have a large kitchen, separate comfort rooms and a lactating room for mothers with infants.

The evacuation center, which will also be utilized as a multi-purpose center, is one of the projects under the Build Back Better project in Catanduanes and Albay following super typhoon Rolly

The Bishop of the Diocese of Virac, Msgr. Manolo delos Santos, and Tubaon barangay chairman Benjie Quintal spearheaded the event, together with Fr. Dela Rosa, Buyo parish priest Fr. Joey Tendenilla, barangay matanda Salve Samar, Sangguniang Kabataan chair Archie Pitajen and other residents.

Meanwhile, 75% of the 801 housing units proposed under the P84-million Resilient Shelter for the Vulnerable and Poor (RSVP) project of the Diocese of Virac has been completed.

Rev. Fr. Dela Rosa said that 587 such shelters in 32 parishes and mission churches have been finished, with another 172 still waiting for workers to begin.

The completed RSVP housing were built in the following areas (with pending houses in parentheses): Our Lady of Salvation (Palta), 149; St. Isidore the Farmer (Magnesia), 39; Sta, Maria Josefa de Jesus (Buyo), 34 (12); Sts. Louis & Zelie Martin (Mabato), 6; St. Michael Archangel (San Miguel Proper), 17; St. Pius of Pietrelcine (Mayngaway), 0 (7); St. Anthony of Padua (Cabugao), 5; St. Therese of the Child Jesus Mission Church (Pagsangahan), 84; St. Alfonso Maria Fusco Mission Church (Lictin), 17 with 2 ongoing; Mary Queen of the Family (Hawan Grande), 39 (1); Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception (Virac Cathedral), 48 (6); St. Anthony of Padua (Bagamanoc Proper), 1 (3); Sam Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer Mission Church (Obo), 8; St. Joseph the Protector of Family Mission Church (Cobo, Pandan), 22 with 1 ongoing (11); St. Isidore the Farmer (Manambrag),  0 (25); St. Lawrence Deacon & Martyr (Baras Proper), 10 with 2 on-going (7); Mary Health of the Sick Mission Church (Ogbong), 7; St. Andrew the Apostle (San Andres Proper), 0 (2); Mary, Mother of the Church (Antipolo), 0 (1); St. Pius X (Bagong Sirang), 24 with 7 ongoing (7); St. Mary Kowalska Mission (Bagumbayan), 17 with 1 ongoing (5); St,. John the Baptist (Bato Proper), 3 (2); St. John Paul XXIII (Bugao), 7; St. John the Baptist (Caramoran Proper), 11 with 15 ongoing); St. Isidore the Farmer (Gigmoto), 0 (18); St. Ignatius de Loyola (Pandan Proper), 11 ongoing (3); San Pedro Calungsod Mission Church (Sicmil), 0 (21); St. Francis Caracciolo (Tabugoc), 31; Our Lady of Mt. Carmen (Tambongon), 0 (1); San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila (Tubli), 0 (30); and Our Lady of the Assumption (Viga Proper), 0 (3).

Donors, both national and international, provided P75 million for the project, with the balance contributed by Caritas Virac which provided a counterpart of P25,000 for every P50,000 given by Caritas Manila.

Broadcaster Erwin Tulfo, who has been named as the next secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), gave P4 million for 40 units of shelters, without counterpart from the Diocese.

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