Government to assess Philippines’ quake preparedness


Manila : The Philippines government said there is a need to assess the quake readiness of the country to prepare the people responding to such an event and to know the structural integrity of major structures.

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“We need to assess the situation in Metro Manila or the entire Philippines. There are certain areas we have been told, that are more prone to earthquakes,” Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a press briefing on Thursday.

“Those things, we have to map out. And in fact, there’s a geo hazard mapping that the government has been doing together with DOST (Department of Science and Technology) and DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources)”

And as soon as the government determines how to better handle the situation, it will ask certain government agencies to prepare the people, particularly employees and students through earthquake drills.

At the same time, Lacierda also said that major structures in the country are strong enough to withstand earthquakes because of a very good building code being adopted in the Philippines.

“We’ve asked reputable persons and authorities on structures and they were one in saying that our new building code is very good. It has engineering solutions to the problems. So, our building code is very good. It’s well-crafted,” he said.

Asked about the structural integrity of the Palace and the President’s official residence, Lacierda said they already asked the Pubic works department to inspect Malacanang, Bahay Pangarap and buildings nearby to assess whether they are safe or not.

“We asked Secretary (Rogelio) Singson to also check our building. Maybe, I will mention it to Secretary Singson the assessment of Ms. Punongbayan about Bahay Pangarap. And certainly, we will take a look into the safety or the sturdiness of the structures that she mentioned,” he said.

Jane Punongbayan, a Phivolcs research specialist said that even the President is not safe in the Palace or even in Bahay Pangarap because it’s near Pasig River and those structures stand on soft ground.