Old structures in Manila need checking for quality, safety — Solidum

Marje Pelayo   •   July 9, 2019   •   1609

Courtesy : Thebureauasia.com

MANILA, Philippines – Science and Technology Undersecretary Renato Solidum has recommended placing under quality assessment all old structures in the city of Manila.

This is in reaction to Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso’s remarks about the city’s lack of a concrete risk reduction management plan or a detailed hazard map.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) Director said the local government of Manila should primarily address the city’s disaster preparedness and capability ahead of the ‘Big One’ or the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that the West Valley Fault may generate in the future.

“Tingnan kung ano ba ang kalidad ng mga bahay at gusali (Check the quality of the houses and buildings),” Solidum noted.

“Ang Manila maraming luma. Marami ding informal settlement at marami diyan non-engineered ang mga bahay (Manila has a lot of old (structures), a lot of informal settlement and most of them are non-engineered houses),” he added.

Based on a report from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the city of Manila is a ‘total failure’ when it comes to disaster resilience or its capability to respond in natural disasters and other hazards.

Solidum explained that Manila’s base being a coastal city is prone to liquefaction because it is near Manila Bay.

“Ang kaibahan ng Quezon city sa Manila ay matigas ang foundation ng Quezon city. (Ang) Manila (ay) hindi, kundi malambot (The difference between Quezon City and Manila is that Quezon City has a solid foundation. With Manila, no. It has a yielding base),” Solidum said.

The Quezon City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (QCRRMC) has received the 2018 Gawad Kalasag Award as the Best Local DRRMC under the Highly Urbanized Category.

They have assigned six district evacuation sites other than Quezon City circle.

According to the head of the QCDRRMO Myke Marasigan, they have included in their contingency plan the color-coded alert level to be able to immediately respond to earthquake situations.

“If the magnitude and the epicenter is near Quezon city, for example 5.5 below, then we could always trigger the yellow alert meaning on-call, standby and do damage assessment immediately,” Marasigan explained.

The QCDRRMO also conducts regular earthquake drills to prepare the residents for potential ground shaking.

The city government is making sure of preparing all barangays since they cannot rescue everyone at the same time.

“They will be ready as an individual, ibig sabihin meron kang (meaning you have your) ‘Go Bag’ ready or disaster kits na sinasabi natin,” Marasigan said.

“Susunod niyan as a family kung nagusap-usap na ba tayo pag halimbawa lumildol magkakahiwalay tayo saan tayo mag-mi-meetup? (Next is the family. Have you set up a plan that in case of an earthquake and you’ve been separated from one another, where should you meet?),” he added.

According to Solidum, the city of Manila is able to prepare its residents but it is important that they do it systematically. – with details from Rey Pelayo.

Manila LGU bans street activities during Tondo, Pandacan feasts

Robie de Guzman   •   January 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The local government of Manila announced it has prohibited the conduct of street parties, stage shows, parades, and other crowd-drawing activities during Catholic feasts to be held in Tondo and Pandacan.

In a statement, the city government said Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso signed Executive Order No. 02 on January 12 which states the need to provide stringent guidelines and regulations to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during the celebration on January 16 to 17.

Domagoso said that such activities “can surely be an easy medium of COVID-19 spread and transmission thereby endangering the health, well-being, and safety of the general public.”

Definition of street party and other activities is as follows:

  • Street party – shall refer to a party in which many members of a single community, congregate either to observe an event of some importance or simply for mutual solidarity and enjoyment such as, but not limited to, Salu-Salo, dancing, and/or singing in groups along public streets
  • Stage show – shall refer to stage activities such as, but not limited to, beauty pageants, dance, and singing contests, stage plays, and other similar activities
  • Parade – shall refer to a public procession celebrating a special day or event such as but limited to Lakbayaw and other similar activities
  • Palarong Kalye – shall refer to all kinds of ball games such as, but not limited to, Basketball and Volleyball and other parlor games such as but not limited to Pabitin, Agawan Buko, Tumbang Preso, Sack Race and other similar games.

Apart from the ban on the said activities, observance of the curfew hours in the City of Manila will also be strictly implemented, as well as the liquor ban within Pandacan and Tondo areas, the city government said.

Barangay officials and members of the Manila Police District are likewise directed to ensure that rules and regulations under the Executive Order will be followed, it added.

DENR discovers four culverts draining untreated water directly into Manila Bay

Marje Pelayo   •   January 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — A culvert or drainage pipe was discovered hidden behind boulders at station 640 along Manila Bay’s baywalk area on Roxas Boulevard was found to be discharging untreated wastewater directly into the bay.

Based on water analysis, fecal coliform count in the area was significantly high at 50 million most probable number per 100 milliliters.

After further inspection, three more alleged culverts along the baywalk were discovered. 

Pipes were found beside the Remedios drainage outfall across Aristocrat restaurant, Station 240 beside the Padre Faura outfall, and near the Estero San Antonio de Abad outfall.

“Ang lakas ng tubig. Bumubulwak (Water pressure was really strong),” said Environment Undersecretary Jonas Leones.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu has ordered the immediate plugging of the illegal outfalls, the establishment of engineering interventions, and the strict enforcement of environmental laws in the bay.

“Noong tine-trace na namin yung existing pipes ng DPWH, ng MMDA at saka ng local government units, itong na-discover namin na illegal pipe wala doon sa records nila,” Leones noted.

(When we were tracing the origin of the existing pipes of the DPWH, the MMDA, and the local government units, none of these illegal pipes were in their records.)

“So the Secretary (Cimatu) has decided na i-seal na namin yung mga illegal pipes and mga culverts. And then let’s see kung saan lalabas yung mga tubig na yan na suppose to be doon lumalabas sa illegal pipes na na-identify na namin,” he added.

(So the Secretary has decided to seal those illegal pipes and culverts and then let’s see where the water would go out aside from the illegal pipes that we have identified.)

Leones said that before they traced the illegal pipes, the coliform level in Manila Bay has already improved from billions of micrograms per normal cubic meters to only thousands.

It just needs to be improved to 100mpn for it to be safe for swimming. -MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Manila LGU launches ‘no contact apprehension’ of traffic law violators

Robie de Guzman   •   December 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Manila City government has started to implement a “no-contact apprehension” of traffic law violators.

Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso on Monday (December 7) led the launching of the policy in an activity held at the intersection of Quirino Avenue and Taft Avenue in Malate, Manila.

Under the policy, motorists will be fined P2,000 on first offense, P3,000 on second offense, and P4,000 on third offense if they are caught disobeying traffic control signs and signals, obstructing pedestrian lanes, driving on yellow box, over speeding, non-wearing of helmet for motorcycle riders, and disregarding lane markings.

The will also be meted out with penalties if they commit counterflowing, reckless driving, and non-wearing of seatbelts.

Domagoso said the program makes use of 36 high definition CCTV cameras installed in key locations in the city which are monitored 24/7.

“With NCAP [no-contact apprehension], panatag ako knowing that traffic violators are always caught and identified, especially sa gabi. Most importantly, even during typhoons or other similar situations, these cameras can function on their own,” the mayor said in a statement.

Motorists caught with violation will receive a formal notice, which will be sent within two weeks after the date of the alleged violation via registered mail.

Domagoso warned traffic violators that they cannot ignore the city’s notices, as non-payment or settlement of traffic violation fines would disallow the violator to renew their vehicles’ registration at the Land Transportation Office along with additional fines and penalties.

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