By Ben Rosario
DAVAO CITY – As the country experiences intermittent earthquakes, administration senatorial candidate Jiggy Manicad called Wednesday for more stringent implementation of the National Building Code to help ensure public safety.
Manicad, who was adopted by the Hugpong ng Pagbabago regional party as a senatorial candidate, also urged authorities to institutionalize emergency preparedness education in schools.
“Nakakalungkot isipin na may mga namatay tayong kababayan sa gumuhong supermarket building sa Pampanga dahil sa lindol na ito. Nakakalungkot din na maging ang Clark Airport at iba pang istruktura ay malubha ring napinsala ng lindol,” Manicad said. (It saddens me that the earthquake caused the death of many when a Pampanga supermarket collapsed. It also saddens me that Clark Airport was also substantially damaged)
Manicad is a broadcast journalist whose insightful coverage of many disasters and similar news events instigated swift action on the part of government authorities.
After covering multiple disasters including the deadly Haiti earthquake in 2010, Manicad has long advocated for improved emergency preparedness among Filipinos.
Manicad said that while a review of the NBP has become necessary in the light of continuing threats from earthquakes and other natural and man-made disasters, the current provisions of the building law should be strictly observed by builders and implemented by local and national government authorities.
“It’s not enough to have a yearly fire or earthquake drill. We have to require students to prepare emergency kits, teach them to know possible evacuation areas by heart, and provide safety equipment such as hard-hats,” he said.
The veteran broadcast reporter said emergency preparedness and disaster mitigating measures should be instilled in the minds of the youth, adding that it can also be made part of the education curriculum.
Manicad cited the example of Japan which enforces earthquake drills every month and has strict protocols for students in the event of a disaster.
The senatorial candidate said preparedness for the “Big One” should be instilled in all Filipinos.
The Metropolitan Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study (MMEIRS) said a 7.2 magnitude tremor from the West Valley Fault will result in the collapse of 170,000 buildings and the death of 34,000 people.
Another 114,000 people will be injured and 340,000 houses will be partially damaged, the MMEIRS had said.
In the same scenario, ten percent of public buildings will collapse as well as bridges.
Water and electricity will also be scarce as thousands of kilometers of pipes and power lines will be destroyed.
“Let this recent quake be an urgent reminder that we have to be prepared at any moment. Though we have a building code, the government has to enforce strict implementation and frequent inspection of buildings, homes, and other structures,” Manicad urged. #MatalinongBoto2019