Expert urges government to strictly implement laws on building construction

Maris Federez   •   April 25, 2019   •   1390

FILE PHOTO: A construction worker (NASH SAHAGUN / Photoville International)

An expert on structural engineering is confident that the Philippines has enough laws on the construction of buildings to ensure that infrastructures can withstand earthquakes and calamities.

Engineer Danny Domingo, a former president of the Association of Structural Engineers of the Philippines, said the country doesn’t have to adopt technologies from other countries such as Japan just to guarantee that edifices are earthquake-resilient.

He added that the problem lies in the implementation of the said laws, such as the National Building Code of the Philippines.

“It’s just a matter of applying what we have right now. The existing code, I believe, would be enough to make sure the buildings are okay. We have the right tool to make sure that our buildings will withstand the magnitude of earthquake. Nasa proper implementation lang,” he said

Domingo also reiterated the need to check on the old structures in Metro Manila, particularly those built in the 60s and 70s, and ascertain the ones that need to be demolished.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), in the meantime, has assured that the building projects under the Build Build Build program of the government are all of good quality.

The DPWH Build Build Build Committee has committed to seeing to it that the infrastructures under their care are earthquake proof.

Secretary Mark Villar has also issued instructions to DPWH officials to conduct assessments on the structural integrity of big government projects that are now under construction. — Maris Federez (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

Malacañang lambasts Drilon for calling Duterte’s infra program a ‘dismal failure’

Marje Pelayo   •   November 13, 2019

(L-R) President Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Franklin Drilon

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang dismissed Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon’s claim that the administration’s Build Build Build program is a dismal failure.

Drilon claimed that the administration has only started nine out of 75 flagship projects in the past three years in office.

“It is sad to say that the BBB program of the administration is a dismal failure. Out of the 75 flagship projects that were proposed at the start of the administration, exactly nine started construction,” Drilon told reporters.

“That is only two percent of the total,” he added.

But Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo was quick to dismiss Drilon’s claim as baseless stressing that the Duterte administration had accomplished more than the previous administration.

 “Senator Frank, look at the administration you previously belonged. Six years, not a single infrastructure na nagawa (was completed). Malayong-malayo sa dami [nang nagawa ng administrasyon ngayon] (It doesn’t compare with the achievements of this administration),” Panelo said.

“It’s baseless […] maraming ginagawa ang administrasyon (this administration is working on a lot of projects),” he added.

Malacañang believes that the current management of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is effectively handling these projects.

Thus, Panelo said the Palace is confident that before President Rodrigo Duterte ends his term, majority of the projects under the Build, Build, Build program will be completed. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

DPWH eyes completion of NLEx-SLEx Connector project in Q2 of 2021

Marje Pelayo   •   November 5, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is working double-time to complete the construction of the North Luzon Expressway-South Luzon Expressway (NLEx-SLEx) connector project, one of the major projects under the administration’s ‘Build, Build, Build” program.

The agency targets to finish the project by the end of the second quarter of 2021.

Earlier on Tuesday (November 5), DPWH Secretary Mark Villar inspected the construction of the project’s section in Grace Park, Caloocan.

Likewise, the DPWH awarded the contract on the construction of the said section of the NLEx Connector project to DMCI Holdings.

The project is an elevated expressway that traverses from New Caloocan Interchange in C3 Road in Caloocan City to España Avenue in Manila.

Based on the plan, this section of the Connector will have a direct link to the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 project near the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) in Sta. Mesa, Manila.

The agency said the project will serve over 35,000 vehicles daily.

Also, travel time from NLEx to SLEx is expected to be cut short from two hours to at least 20 minutes once completed.

“Malaking bagay po ito sa decongestion ng Metro Manila kasi lahat po ng trucks galing sa port hindi na kailangan dumaan sa major thoroughfares ng Metro Manila (kundi) dito na aakyat sa may R-10 at pwede na silang dumerecho sa NLEx or SLEx,” Villar said.

(This will hugely help in decongesting Metro Manila traffic because all trucks coming from the port will no longer ply on major thoroughfares but from here in R-10 they can go straight to NLEx or SLEx.)

“We expect that within November (construction here in the Connector project will be full force),” he added.

Currently, the DPWH has already settled about 50% of the right of way issues in connection with the NLEx-SLEx Connector project.

The construction will use heavy equipment that might obstruct the Philippine National Railway track along C-3 Road but the PNR management assured that it will not affect the operations of the PNR train service.

“Ang problema namin is project staging ibig sabihin ng staging maraming mga crane maraming heavy equipment na gagalaw-galaw diyan, may train na tumatakbo pa (Our concern now is project staging. During staging there will me more cranes and heavy equipment operating while the train is also running),” said Jun Magno, PNR’s General Manager.

“Paplanuhin lang namin kung paano namin papatakbuhin mga trains, paano namin papatakbuhin mga heavy equipment (We will plan on how to run our trains and the heavy equipment),” he added. – MNP (with reports from Joan Nano)

DPWH reactivates road assistance program for Undas break

Robie de Guzman   •   October 30, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has reactivated its road assistance program, dubbed as “Lakbay Alalay,” to help motorists during the observance of the Undas break.

DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said the road assistance program will begin at 7 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 31 until 12 noon on Monday, Nov. 4.

During these dates, Villar said, the DPWH Lakbay Alalay team will provide“prompt and reliable assistance to motorists and travelers.”

“Lakbay Alalay” is DPWH’s annual public service program nationwide through the 16 Regional and 183 District Engineering Offices of providing immediate assistance to motorists including rescuing troubled vehicles, and applying first aid in emergency situations, according to Villar.

Villar said he has directed all DPWH regional directors and district engineers to deploy teams on a round-the-clock shift at strategic locations and highways leading to cemeteries and other areas commonly visited by the public during Undas.

He also reminded the department’s field units to keep national roads safe by implementing various highway routine maintenance activities on carriageways and roadsides including the installation of informative/regulatory warning signs or traffic advisories.

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