February 19, 2017
JV EJERCITO CALLS ON DPWH FOR NATIONWIDE AUDIT OF BUILDING CODE COMPLIANCE
Senator JV Ejercito is calling on the Department of Public Works and Highways to conduct a nationwide audit in compliance to the National Building Code (Republic Act No. 6541) to ensure that infrastructures are earthquake and disaster resistant.
The senator made this statement in the aftermath of the Surigao earthquake last February 10, and the renewed calls of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) to prepare for the impending "Big One" or a magnitude 7.2 earthquake expected to be generated by the West Valley Fault.
"I am calling on the DPWH to conduct a facilities check across the country. We need to know whether our airports, ports, roads, bridges, and other public infrastructures, and even our homes are earthquake resilient and compliant even to the minimum requirements of the National Building Code," Ejercito said in his capacity as Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Works and Highways.
He added, "What happened to Surigao is devastating. We do not want to incite fear, but it could be more catastrophic in densely populated cities such as in Metro Manila, Cebu, Davao, and other big cities."
Ejercito, who has been calling since 2012 for the government to hold a National Summit on Disaster Preparedness, said the Surigao quake should serve as a wake-up call for the government to take action. "We cannot just sit around and wait for the Big One to happen. We need to act now."
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