Office of the Vice President
July 9, 2017
Vice President Leni Robredo underscored the importance of ensuring safety features of high-rise establishments, following the 6.5-magnitude earthquake that recently hit Leyte.
In her weekly radio program, “BISErbisyong LENI,” the Vice President noted that these details, which may be overlooked, must be checked to ascertain that buildings, and homes within them, can withstand such natural calamities amid changing times.
“Siguro iyong hindi masyadong binibigyan ng pansin ngayon, iyong pag-i-inspect ng matataas na buildings. Kasi alam mo, iba pa iyong requirements noon. Lalo na kung magre-renew [ng permit], baka hindi pa siya nag-comply sa bagong mga requirements para maging earthquake-proof iyong mga buildings,” said VP Leni, former chairperson of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).
“Kaya iyong hinihikayat talaga, kahit noong nakaraang pang taon, kung nakatira ka sa isang mataas na building, siguraduhin mo sa may-ari na ito ay na-test na for safety,” she added.
VP Leni also agreed the public must take information drives about earthquake preparedness seriously, especially in Metro Manila, which houses many tall buildings.
“Naaalala ko, iyong nakaraang taon – nasa Congress pa ako noon – mayroong mga usap-usapan na magkakaroon ng malakas na earthquake. Nag-attend din tayo ng ilan sa mga briefing, at isa sa mga itinuro sa atin, kailangan mayroon ka nang earthquake bag,” she said.
“Iyong bag para just in case magkaroon ng lindol, kasi iyong chances na mata-trap ka sa loob ay napakalaki. Kaya makakatulong iyong may dala kang tubig, may dala kang flashlight, may dala kang kung anu-anong mga kailangan. Kasi iyong iba, hindi naman agad namamatay kapag nata-trap sa loob. Pero sa tagal na hindi nila ma-rescue, doon sila talaga nag-e-expire,” she added.
During the July 9 episode of her radio program, VP Leni interviewed local government officials in Leyte, including Leyte Governor Dominico Petilla and Mayor Rowena Codilla of the municipality of Kananga, where a three-storey commercial building collapsed after the quake.
The earthquake, which rattled the province on the afternoon of June 6, left two people dead, and several others injured.
A man was killed in the collapse of the Kananga building, which houses a grocery store and a pension inn. In Ormoc City, an 18-year-old woman died after being hit by falling debris.
“So we have one fatality na doon sa building na gumuho and we have mga, so far seven na in-patients and most of the other injuries, puro mga out-patients lang naman. So parang kumbaga, mayroon din tayong mga nasirang mga facilities, pero hindi, not as much as we expected,” Petilla said.
The Leyte governor added that they are assessing damage to infrastructure in affected areas of the province, including school buildings and other establishments in communities, in order to respond to possible needs for repair.
For her part, Mayor Codilla said residents would prefer assistance in housing instead of food packs. She added that they evacuated 73 families following the quake.