MANILA (Mabuhay) – Malacañang on Saturday said the Department of Environment and Natural Resources may schedule consultations with other stakeholders concerning the no-build zone policy, which prohibits the construction of structures within 40 meters from the shoreline, in areas affected by super Typhoon Yolanda.
In an interview on state-run dzRB radio, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte also assured the people the DENR is aware of the concerns raised by several groups.
“We continue to work with the stakeholders to find a policy, or at least to settle [concerns over the rule]. Ang sa amin po kasi ay safety nung ating mga kababayan ‘yung pinakaimportante at kung papaano tayo mag-a-adjust para masiguradong talagang safe… lalo ‘yung nasa mga low-lying coastal areas,” she said.
“So we’ll flag the DENR for this and perhaps they can set for consultations if possible for other stakeholders that have concerns on the ‘No-Build Zone’ policy,” she added.
German Development Cooperation (GIZ) chief advisor on disaster risk management Olaf Neussner was quoted in an earlier report as saying the 40-meter no-build zone is not enough to ensure safety from a tsunami or a storm surge.
“You have seen that Yolanda in some places went for more than a kilometer [inland],” he said. “So obviously 40 meters does not help very much.”
Neussner said the topography of certain areas should have been considered in the delineation of the no-build zones.
“It is really hard to generalize…. It really depends on the area. In many areas, 40 meters is clearly not enough if you want to be safe from tsunami or storm surge,” he said. (MNS)