Aguilar orders building inspections, earthquake drills in Las Piñas

LAS PIÑAS CITY, MM — Las Piñas City Mayor Vergel Aguilar ordered the City Engineering office to conduct inspection of factories and business establishments, public and private school buildings, hospitals, condominiums and other high rise residences in the city for any unsound structures that may endanger it should a strong magnitude earthquake occurs.

Aguilar, also directed the Las Piñas Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council and private business establishments owners, school officials to continue holding its quarterly exercises on earthquake drills and conduct massive information campaign to prevent tragedies, especially in public places like schools, malls, and places frequently visited by people.

The twin directives were issued by the mayor in response to the call of the country’s chief seismologist for local executives, the national and local engineers to inspect the structural soundness of all public and private buildings to ensure that Filipinos will at least stand a chance against a major earthquake similar to the one that wiped out several villages in Japan recently.

Aguilar reminded business establishment owners to strictly follow building standards and comply with national building code requirements to avoid any disaster.

“We cannot compromise the safety and lives of our people. I urge all our business owners, school officials to be responsible and do their share in disaster risk reduction,” Aguilar said.

“Our suggestion is to inspect all buildings if it complies with the national building code. That’s one thing we can and must do at the local level to prepare for any eventuality and for the safety of everyone,” he said.

Director Renato Solidum Jr. of Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), also called on all local executives, particularly in coastal communities, to fine-tune their alert and evacuation systems in the event of a tidal wave slamming their shores.

Phivolcs study said that at least 1.3 million buildings are in possible danger in Metro Manila, a region that is vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunami.

Metro Manila is bounded by a fault in the west and by the Manila trench in the east.

Solidum said Filipino homes are generally safer from earthquakes just as long as they follow prescribed guidelines in the building code, including the use of construction materials that pass quality standards. (END)

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