Struc­turally sound

Panay News - - OPINION -


IN­FRA­STRUC­TURE- ori­ented think- tank has called on hous­ing agen­cies to sus­pend all so­cial­ized hous­ing projects in geo­haz­ard ar­eas to prevent land­slide in­ci­dents sim­i­lar to what re­cently hap­pened in Ito­gon, Benguet and Naga City, Cebu.

The aim, ac­cord­ing to In­frawatch PH, is to prevent the un­for­tu­nate loss of lives, limb and prop­erty in the event nat­u­ral disas­ters strike on ar­eas al­ready deemed as geo­haz­ard ar­eas by our dis­as­ter agen­cies.

In this par­tic­u­lar con­cern, tak­ing no chances  is a no- brainer. Our hous­ing agen­cies should find al­ter­na­tive sites for so­cial­ized hous­ing, if sev­eral projects are found to be lo­cated in geo- hazard ar­eas. If costs for land ac­qui­si­tion will rise due to al­ter­na­tive sites, we are cer­tain the Pres­i­dent and Congress will heed re­quests for higher sub­si­dies if only to en­sure the safety of our fam­i­lies.

Is it true that sev­eral projects were al­lowed to pro­ceed pending the im­ple­men­ta­tion of en­gi­neer­ing so­lu­tions to con­front geo-hazard is­sues such as flood­ing? It should be noted that not all geo­haz­ard is­sues can be re­solved by en­gi­neer­ing so­lu­tions, par­tic­u­larly ar­eas prone to land­slide YOU and liq­ue­fac­tion. In ar­eas prone to land­slide and liq­ue­fac­tion, en­gi­neer­ing so­lu­tions may be in­suf­fi­cient to ad­dress in­her­ent prob­lems ex­ist­ing in such sites.

Mean­while, the De­part­ment of Pub­lic Works and High­ways (DPWH) should en­sure that the evac­u­a­tion cen­ters it plans to con­struct will be built on safe ar­eas and are struc­turally sound.

As early as 2016 DPWH iden­ti­fied 190 school sites that are of­ten used as evac­u­a­tion cen­ters and they were propos­ing to build evac­u­a­tion cen­ters within or near the school fa­cil­ity. The evac­u­a­tion cen­ter can also be used as an ex­panded multi-pur­pose area.

We must en­sure that these evac­u­a­tion cen­ters will be built on safe ar­eas, avoid­ing hazard-prone ar­eas as seen in the geo­haz­ard maps, and us­ing green de­sign, in­clud­ing a water catch­ment fa­cil­ity. There is a need to en­sure that evac­u­a­tion cen­ters, and all in­fra­struc­ture for that mat­ter, are dis­as­ter-re­silient; re­mem­ber, even the evac­u­a­tion cen­ters were not spared from the wrath of ty­phoons such as “Yolanda.”

The re­silience of our build­ings and in­fra­struc­ture is cru­cial in dis­as­ter risk re­duc­tion. We prevent or lessen deaths and dam­ages from ty­phoons, earth­quakes and other nat­u­ral haz­ards with struc­turally sound in­fra­struc­ture.

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