By Ben Rosario
Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo reiterated Tuesday his call for an “organized and comprehensive audit” of all buildings and other infrastructures to determine their structural integrity to withstand earthquakes.
Castelo, chairman of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, said immediate action on this is important as threat of another tremor hitting parts of the country remains high in the wake of a strong 6.1 magnitude quake.
“Doing so at the soonest possible time will prevent loss of lives and limbs,” Castelo, Chairman of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development said.
Castelo urged all government agencies concerned such as the Metro Manila Development Authority, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Interior and Local Government, and the National Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Council to act collectively on the matter.
“It is imperative that we immediately determine which buildings in our midst are in danger of falling when we’re hit by an earthquake because they are definitely places of deadly accidents waiting to happen,” the administration lawmaker said.
It will be recalled that Castelo last year sought the creation of two bodies that will perform initial inventory and audit government buildings and another to assess their structural integrity.
He said the first team should be composed of representatives from the Commission on Audit, the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Congress and engineers from government agencies and the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers.
“The team’s task is to audit and evaluate all infrastructure contracts, bidding processes for each, and actual project implementation – with priority projects in the last 20 years,” Castelo said.
“It will look for any irregularities that could signal graft and corruption and potential substandard construction,” Castelo explained.
The second body will be composed of structural engineers and other construction experts – who will conduct an assessment of the structural integrity of buildings that have been flagged by the audit team.