Press Release
February 14, 2023

Tolentino bats for updated earthquake evacuation plan in Metro Manila

MANILA - Senator Francis 'Tol' N. Tolentino said it's about time to have a more comprehensive evacuation plan in the National Capital Region (NCR) in preparation for the so-called 'The Big One.'

Tolentino made the remarks amid his recent call to amend Republic Act No. 6541 or the National Building Code of the Philippines as the people of Metro Manila and nearby provinces continue to anticipate a possible 7.2-magnitude earthquake which experts believe can originate from the Marikina Valley Fault System, particularly the West Valley fault line.

The senator who used to chair the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) stressed that additional evacuation areas are needed as the population and infrastructures within NCR have multiplied in the past years and would mean possible more casualties and damages if a strong earthquake rocks the nation's capital.

"Kung Metro Manila po ang pag uusapan, dumami na po yung sa Bonifacio Global City, dumami na po yung sa Eastwood, at nadagdagan na rin po itong nasa may Mall of Asia area, itong reclaimed areas. At least madagdagan pa ng dalawang malawakang evacuation center," said Tolentino on Tuesday during an interview with GMA-7's Unang Hirit.

When he was chairman of MMDA, Tolentino spearheaded the regular conduct of the metro-wide 'shake drill' as well as the 'Oplan Metro Yakal' to prepare the public on what to do during strong earthquakes, minimizing casualties and injuries.

Tolentino's 'Oplan Metro Yakal' aims to institutionalize an effective system of earthquake disaster preparedness, response, and evacuation plan in NCR to a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that can originate from the West Valley Fault.

Based on the study conducted by MMDA and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in 2004, many structures in the greater Manila Area would not be able to withstand the possible catastrophic destructions that can be brought by 'The Big One.'

The senator earlier renewed his call to strengthen the current 50-year-old Building Code and update its existing provisions to help ensure the structural resiliency of establishments should a destructive earthquake--similar to the one in Turkey and Syria--hits Metro Manila and other provinces in the country.

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