Press Release
May 10, 2017

Bam: Ensure resiliency of structures, houses against strong tremors

Due to its density, an estimated 23,000 people will perish if the magnitude 6.7 earthquake that struck Surigao del Norte in February happened in Metro Manila.

According to Sen. Bam Aquino, around half of that number belong to the so-called informal settlers, whose houses are not structurally sound to withstand strong tremors.

Nine people were killed in the Surigao del Norte quake that occurred last February 10, 2017.

"Kung nangyari sa Metro Manila ang lindol na tumama sa Surigao, nasa 23,000 ang namatay. Ang nakakabahala pa rito, karamihan sa mga iyon ay mga kababayan nating informal settlers," said Sen. Bam, chairman of the Committee on Science and Technology.

Sen. Bam emphasized that this could be avoided if structures and residential houses will only comply with the Building Code, enabling them to withstand earthquakes of up to magnitude 8 to 9.

"We need to conduct a periodic review of the resiliency of our structures, especially houses, to ensure that it can withstand strong tremors and avoid loss of lives," he said.

The senator called on concerned government agencies and local government units (LGUs) to make sure that buildings, houses and other structures can withstand strong earthquakes.

PHIVOLCS Director Renato Solidum echoed Sen. Bam's statement, saying he has been pushing for inspection and periodic evaluation of buildings and houses for resiliency.

Sen. Bam also called on Congress to conduct a periodic review of Republic Act 10121 or the Act Strengthening the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management System to make it attuned to present needs.

"Kailangang ang mabilis na aksiyon upang matiyak ang kaligtasan ng mga istruktura sa ating bansa upang maiwasan ang pagkawala ng buhay at malawakang pinsala," said Sen. Bam.

By virture of Sen. Bam's resolution, the SciTech Committee conducted the hearing to ensure if scientific data gathered by PHIVOLCS is effectively disseminated to allay fears and combat the prevalence of false information online.

In addition, the probe was aimed at better preparing communities in the occurrence of destructive tremors.

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