City of Manila’s disaster resilience a ‘total failure’ – Mayor discovers

Marje Pelayo   •   July 3, 2019   •   4209

MANILA, Philippines – Newly-elected mayor Francisco Domagoso admits they are not ready in case a strong earthquake or the so called ‘Big One’ strikes the city.

“The City of Manila is not ready. On record. Sila ang may sabi noon, (That’s what they said),” Domagoso said referring to the local disaster risk reduction management officials following a meeting with them on his second day in office on Tuesday (July 2).

Mayor ‘Isko’ ordered the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) to draft a concrete disaster management plan or a detailed hazard map to prepare the city for potential dangers.

During the meeting, Domagoso discovered a lot of problems in terms of the city’s disaster preparedness and response.

The city lacks plans and programs for risk reduction management.

There are no measures in place to solve the decade long flood problems.

The city’s disaster response command center lacks equipment, the office looks shabby and neglected.

The CCTV cameras only cover areas within the city hall and Carriedo area.

Emergency personnel admitted they have no established emergency hotline and they usually use their personal numbers to contact the public in times of need.

The CDRRMO also lacks personnel and the city falls short in resources when it comes to health care.

According to the overall assessment report of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the city is considered a ‘total failure’ when it comes to disaster preparedness and response.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) noted the importance of prioritizing disaster resiliency in all of Manila especially its buildings and structures as it is a city prone to hazards.

“The biggest stumbling block would be the resilience of the structures. Iyon ang pinakaunang kailangang gawin. Ayusin ang mga pwedeng bumagsak na mga bahay (That’s the very first thing that needs to be addressed – fix the houses that are damage prone),” explained DOST Undersecretary and PHIVOLCS administrator Renato Solidum.

“Marami silang (There’s a lot of) hazards that need to be integrated in their preparedness,” he noted.

Mayor Domagoso warned to dismiss all concerned DRRMO officials if they will not act on the matter at the soonest possible time.

“I will fire you if you don’t admit that we are not ready,” Mayor Domagoso told them.

“You have to be honest with yourself. You can even challenge me at the Civil Service (Commission) if I fire you,” he concluded. – with reports from April Cenedoza

Manila City opens second free COVID-19 swab testing laboratory

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 29, 2020

The Manila City Government opened its second swab testing laboratory on Tuesday (September 29).

The Sta. Ana Hospital’s second swab testing laboratory is capable of processing 1,000 tests a day, according to Manila City Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso. He also said market vendors will be among those to be prioritized for mass swab testing.

BREAKING: Isko Moreno opens Sta. Ana Hospital’s swab test lab capable of 1,000 tests a dayTo strengthen the capital…

Posted by Manila Public Information Office on Monday, September 28, 2020

The Manila mayor added that the testing laboratory will also be free for non-Manila residents. The Sta. Ana Hospital will be able to process about 30,000 tests a month for the City of Manila. AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

Phivolcs sees geohazard, flooding risks in Bulacan Airport

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 25, 2020

The project site of the proposed New Manila International Airport in Bulacan has geohazard risks, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

The multi-billion airport is sitting on soft ground and its location is prone to frequent flooding, according to Phivolcs Usec. Renato Solidum.

“Just to be very specific on the facts is that it is far away from the fault. But since it’s underlain by sand with a shallow water table, it’s prone to strong ground shaking and liquefaction,” he said.

Solidum said they conducted an assessment to ensure the safety of the community as well as to protect investments. He recommended making buildings and infrastructure resilient to hazards.

“Dapat iyong building mo ay maayos ang disenyo na maging stable siya habang lumilindol at hindi siya tumagilid. Or pwede mo ring patibayan ang lupa. Bawasan mo iyong tubig, palitan mo iyong lupa, (The building should have a proper design for it to be stable during earthquakes. The ground can also be strengthen by reducing its water content or replacing the soil),” he added.

Meanwhile, San Miguel Holdings Corporation (SMC) said they have been taking into account the risks in designing the P740 billion domestic and international airport in Bulacan. The SMC also assured they have studied the project, including its feasibility, and all possible risks.

“The airport’s design fully takes this into account and we have actually started implementing sustainable measures to address flooding in Bulacan that has existed for several decades and has been made worse by clogged waterways and drainages,” according to SMC.

The corporation also tapped three major global airport construction firms to ensure the airport is resilient, sustainable, and will provide the best benefits for all Filipinos. AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

Manila launches Ospital ng Tondo’s walk-in COVID-19 testing center

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 25, 2020

The Manila City government on Thursday (September 24) launched another walk-in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) serology testing center at the Ospital ng Tondo.

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso said the testing center can accommodate 100 persons a day and will be open from Monday to Friday from 6:00 a.m.

NEWS ALERT: Isko leads launch of Ospital ng Tondo’s walk-in COVID-19 testing centerManila City Mayor Francisco ‘Isko…

Posted by Manila Public Information Office on Thursday, September 24, 2020

The Mayor also said the testing center is open to all Manileños and non-Manileños.

“Kahit sino, puwede magpa-test dito. Kahit hindi taga-Maynila (Anyone can be tested here even if you’re not a Manila resident). [The COVID-19 pandemic] is a universal problem. We have to approach it inclusively. That is why this is open to all and for free,” he said.

Domagoso added that another swab testing laboratory will be opened by the Manila City government. AAC

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