Australian Embassy
The Philippines

Media Release



MANILA, 19 October 2018 - Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Amanda Gorely, together with Climate Change Commission Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman, Abuyog Mayor Lemuel Gin Traya, and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Country Director Titon Mitra, led the groundbreaking to mark the construction of a disaster-resilient and resource-efficient multi-purpose evacuation center in Abuyog, Leyte.

The construction of the 'green' multi-purpose evacuation center is part of Australia’s PHP 282 million (AUD 7.3 million) multi-year grant to support the long-term recovery and rehabilitation of communities affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda. 

“As a good friend and neighbor, Australia is committed to supporting the Philippines to build its resilience to disaster and climate risks, and help in the recovery communities affected by calamities,” Ambassador Gorely said.

The two-level multi-purpose evacuation center has been designed to withstand earthquakes and strong typhoons the likes of Typhoon Yolanda.  It will feature a number of innovations such as solar panels and a rainwater collection system to ensure resource efficiency in times of disaster. 

The center will be built on land allocated by Abuyog Municipality.  Abuyog has also committed to maintain the facility which can accommodate up to 200 people in an emergency.   It will provide safe shelter to vulnerable families especially women and children, with features that will support the mobility needs of people with disability and the elderly.

At other times, the center will be productively utilized as a venue for trainings and seminars, livelihood projects, and other community development activities.  

Following the ground-breaking, local officials from the various Leyte municipalities held an earthquake simulation exercise to demonstrate their enhanced capacity in managing disaster risks gained through the Resilience and Preparedness toward Inclusive Development (RAPID) Program.

The RAPID Program is being implemented in Tacloban City and 11 municipalities covering 150 barangays in the provinces of Leyte, Samar, and Eastern Samar.

It is the second phase of Project Climate Twin Phoenix (PCTP) that supported recovery planning of local governments affected by Tropical Storm Sendong (2011) in Northern Mindanao and Typhoon Pablo (2012) in Davao Region.  Both programs are supported by the Australian Government in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme, the Climate Change Commission, and other national government agencies.