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Govt to launch ‘structural resiliency program’ for public buildings – DPWH

Residents walk past a destroyed church belfry in Tubigon, Bohol , a day after an earthquake hit central Philippines October 16, 2013.  (MNS photo)

Residents walk past a destroyed church belfry in Tubigon, Bohol , a day after an earthquake hit central Philippines October 16, 2013. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) –Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson on Thursday said the government would implement a “structural resiliency program” for all public buildings to keep these functional even after strong earthquakes.

“We have what we call ‘structural resiliency program’. Ibig sabihin niyan ay imbes na ire-repair lang namin mga lumang buildings we will retrofit and upgrade them (It means instead of repair, the old building will undergo retrofitting and upgrading,” Singson said after the send off ceremonies for President Benigno Aquino III at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Thursday morning.

President Aquino left for a two-day state visit to South Korea.

Singson said the government would prioritize the program on government hospitals, public schools, and government buildings.

He said they would come up with a template of the standards that should be followed.

“Ang ibig sabihin ng programang ito (structural resiliency) we cannot upgrade them unless they are compliant with the new building code para sa ganoon kapag nangyari ang ganito (strong earthquake), sana naman ay hindi na, ay magiging operational pa rin sila. We will make them structurally fit (The program means we cannot upgrade them unless they are compliant with the new building code so if ever a strong earthquake will hit, I hope not. We wikll make them structurally fit) ,” he said.

A 7.2 magnitude quake hit Central Visayas on Tuesday, killing more than 150 people and damaging structures, some of which were centuries-old churches, and installations like the Tagbilaran Port in Bohol.

He said the government was studying whether to either repair Tagbilaran Port, build a new one, or move the port elsewhere within Bohol.

Singson reminded that structural engineers must see to it that the contractor and the owner of an establishment under construction must strictly follow what is stated in the construction plan so as not have weak structures.(MNS)

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