Are you ready for the Big One?

FREEMA Gloria   •   April 16, 2019   •   8470

Experts warn of the so-called “Big One” – a staggering 7.2 magnitude earthquake brewing in the West Valley fault that could wipe out 114,000 homes in Metro Manila and claim 34,000 lives in one devastating hour.

The West Valley Fault is a 100-kilometer fault line that traverses the cities of Marikina, Quezon City, Pasig, Taguig, Makati, Muntinlupa, and other nearby provinces.

The fault moves every 400 years. Its recorded last move was 357 years ago. This means that the West Valley Fault is now ripe for another strong quake that could occur anytime.

A study conducted by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), paints a harrowing scenario of the Big One’s aftermath.

Around 10% of the buildings in Metro Manila will be severely damaged while seven bridges are expected to collapse.

Predicted to be severely affected are providers of utilities such as power, water and telecomunication.

Around 4,615 kilometers of water pipes will be subjected to 4,000 points of breakage. Thirty kilometers of electric cables will be cut resulting in a massive black out. Meanwhile, 95 kilometers of telecom cables will be disconnected, causing mobile phone services to be congested and out of use.

Fires are also expected to occur due to short circuits and gas leakages. Twenty thousand people are estimated to perish from being trapped in these burning buildings.

Aside from Metro Manila, some parts of Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna and Cavite will also be affected.

So, the question to all: Are you ready for the Big One?

Public service advocate, Kuya Daniel Razon, through his “Tulong Muna Bago Balita” campaign, has been hosting a UNTV Rescue Summit to help the government prepare the public and local government rescue units for the eventual movement of the West Valley Fault.

In partnership with the Marikina City government, the 4th Rescue Summit will be held on April 28, 2019, Sunday at the Marikina Sports Center.

Starting at 6:00 AM, the whole day event will be packed with rescue competitions, seminars and exhibits which will be capped by a mini-concert to be hosted by the Rescue Summit’s radio partner, Wish 107.5.

Prepare yourself and your family for the Big One. Join the 4th UNTV Rescue Summit. Admission is free. — Raymond Lacsa

After Skyway 3, SMC to work next on Pasig River road link project

Robie de Guzman   •   January 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The San Miguel Corporation (SMC) announced it will next work on the Pasig River Expressway Project (PAREX) after completing the Skyway Stage 3.

In a statement, the SMC said it will begin work on the East-West Highway in February.

“We will continue work to further decongest Metro Manila by linking east and west of the metropolis, through the Pasig River Expressway (Parex) project,” SMC president and Ramon Ang said.

Ang made the announcement during the opening ceremonies of Skyway 3 on Thursday which was attended by President Rodrigo Duterte.

The Pasig River Expressway project is a 19.4-kilometer, six-lane elevated expressway along the banks of the Pasig River that will complete the north-south, east-west link, connecting R-10 in Manila, Edsa, and C5 and decongesting Rizal, Cainta, and Marikina.

Ang said the project will provide faster, alternative access to the business districts Makati, Ortigas, and BGC.

The toll road is expected to cut travel time between two areas to about 10 to 15 minutes from the two hours at present.

The project can be completed by 2023, Ang said.

Aside from PAREX, he also revealed that work has also started for the construction of the Manila International Airport project in Bulacan province.

Touted as the single-largest investment ever in the Philippines, the SMC said the airport project will connect to major thoroughfares in the metropolis. It will have four-parallel runways and modern, world-class facilities.

Ang set the opening date of the massive airport project for 2025. Two major expressways connecting to the airport will also open by 2023.

Meanwhile, the ongoing Skyway Extension project, which will extend Skyway’s reach in the south, to Susanna Heights, Muntinlupa, is set for completion this year.

Both the Parex and Bulacan airport projects are to be connected to the Skyway system, further extending the country’s infrastructure network, the SMC said.

Manila, Marikina prepare cold storage facilities for COVID-19 vaccines

Robie de Guzman   •   January 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippine The local governments of Manila and Marikina have prepared their respective cold storage facilities for the vaccines against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

On Wednesday, Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso personally inspected a room in Sta. Ana Hospital which is being set up as a cold chain management vaccine storage room.

Domagoso earlier announced that the city government will purchase initial 800,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca.

Marikina City Mayor Marcy Teodoro also said they have prepared a storage room in the city’s Health Department Office for the vaccines that are expected to be delivered in the coming months.

The Marikina government earlier said it has allocated P82.7 million for the purchase of the vaccines.

The Department of Health said that aside from local facilities, it is also tapping the private sector for the establishment of cold storage facilities in various parts of the country.

It is primarily considering opening cold chain hubs in Bicol, Cebu, and Zamboanga while the central hub will be in Metro Manila.

While negotiations for vaccine supply deals are ongoing, vaccine czar and National Task Force (NTF) COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said they are also working on the logistics, delivery, and distribution of the vaccines.

“Ang gagawin lang po natin is gagawa tayo ng magandang Gantt chart at saka yung synchronization matrix, i-synchronize lang po natin na kapag dumating kaagad ideploy natin po kaagad. Yun po ang gagawin namin kasi magaling naman po ang logistics ng armed forces, at saka yung logistics ng supply chain na pwede natin kunin kanilang services,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

Metro Manila LGUs allot funds for purchase of COVID-19 vaccine

Robie de Guzman   •   January 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Various local government units (LGU) in Metro Manila on Monday said they have allocated funds for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines for their constituents.

Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian said the city government will earmark P150 million budget for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines which will be provided to residents for free.

The Navotas City government also allotted P20 million for the vaccine procurement, adding that the amount can still be increased subject to the final budget allocation for the city.

Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez likewise announced the allotment of P250 million for the procurement of vaccines.

Olivarez said the vaccination program will prioritize frontline workers, senior citizens and other residents who are vulnerable to the viral disease.

The San Juan City government also said it has allocated P50 million while local government of Muntinlupa said it has earmarked P170 million for its COVID-19 vaccination plan.

Makati City Mayor Abby Binay earlier announced they have prepared P1 billion budget for their COVID-19 vaccine procurement. She said the vaccines will be administered for all Makati citizens for free.

The local governments of Manila and Quezon City both announced earlier they have allotted funds for their COVID-19 vaccination program.

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso also said they have launched a pre-registration portal for the free vaccination for residents. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

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