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

Marje Pelayo   •   July 9, 2019   •   1863

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 Bay office exec relieved from post over dolomite beach overcrowding

Robie de Guzman   •   October 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines ­– The ground commander assigned to oversee the Manila Bay dolomite beach has been relieved from his post over last weekend’s overcrowding incident.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu announced that he has removed Manila Bay Coordinating Office deputy executive director Jacob Miemban Jr. from his post.

Cimatu said he ordered Miemban’s relief amid the investigation on the overcrowding incident in the dolomite beach.

“We’re not making him a sacrificial lamb. He already said that being the commander, he takes full responsibility for what happened,” Cimatu said.

“While appreciating the gesture of that, kailangan imbestigahan pa rin naman yung nangyari,” he added.

Retired General Ruel Sorilla, who serves as officer-in-charge and director of DENR’s Environmental Law Enforcement and Protection Service, will take over Miemban’s post.

Cimatu said Sorilla has been tasked to strictly implement health protocols in the area that has attracted droves of visitors.

The DENR earlier said it has improved its protocols in admitting visitors to the dolomite beach to prevent the occurrence of similar incident.

It is also eyeing to temporarily close the man-made beach from Oct. 29 to Nov. 3.

The dolomite beach was reopened to the public last Oct. 16 when Metro Manila shifted to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 from Level 4 amid decreasing coronavirus cases.

Mga papayagang pumasok sa Manila Bay dolomite beach, hanggang 4K lang; mga bata, bawal – DENR

Robie de Guzman   •   October 26, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines ­– Lilimitahan na ng Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) ang bilang ng mga bisitang maaaring makapasok sa Manila Bay dolomite beach.

Ayon kay DENR Undersecretary Jonas Leones, nasa 4,000 bisita lamang ang papayagang makapasok na carrying capacity ng lugar.

“Ang problem lang natin, during weekdays, talagang bumibigla, pumapalo talaga ng hindi na bumababa ng 18,000 and above ang number of persons. So, ang gagawin lang natin, with our strategy, we will meet lang yung carrying capacity ng area mga 4,000 to 5,000 lang ang nasa loob,” ang wika ng opisyal.

Upang mapagbigyan ang iba pang mga bisita na makapasok sa dolomite beach, ipatutupad ang limitadong oras sa pagtigil sa lugar.

Kapag weekend, ipaiiral ang “cinema approach” kung saan may scheduling o may oras ang pagpasok sa lugar.

Palalabasin ang mga ito pagkatapos ng dalawang oras para naman sa iba pang mga bisita.

Kapag dagsa ang tao sa weekdays, ipatutupad naman ang rotation system kung saan maari lang tumigil sa loob ng pasyalan hanggang labinglimang minuto.

Upang maiwasan ang pila sa labas ng dolomite beach, planong gumamit ng DENR ng smartphone app o bigyan ang mga bisita ng stub na maipapakita nila kapag oras na ng kanilang pagpasok.

Bibigyan naman ng special lane ang mga vulnerable sectors gaya ng senior citizens, buntis at may karamdaman.

Pagbabawalan namang pumasok sa dolomite beach ang mga batang may edad 11 pababa, alinsunod sa guidelines ng Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).

“Consistent with the IATF protocols, we followed our determination of the age based on the availability nung vaccination natin. Kung mapapansin ninyo, the government has already implemented the vaccination of 12 years old and above,” ani Leonas.

Layunin ng bagong patakaran na maiwasan na ang pagdagsa ng mga tao gaya nang nangyari sa mga nakalipas na linggo.

Magugunitang, umabot sa mahigit 121,000 indibidwal ang bumisita sa Manila Bay dolomite beach noon lamang araw ng Linggo. Dahil sa dami ng tao, hindi na natupad ang social distancing protocol at may iba pang hindi nakasuot ng maayos ang kanilang face mask.

Isasara naman ang dolomite beach tuwing Biyernes upang bigyang-daan ang maintenance activities.

Mayor Isko urges IATF to file raps over dolomite beach overcrowding

Robie de Guzman   •   October 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso on Tuesday called on the Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19 pandemic to file complaints against officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) over last weekend’s overcrowding at dolomite beach in Manila Bay.

In a television interview, Domagoso said an agency under the DENR opened the dolomite beach to the public without coordinating with the local government.

Mayor Isko was referring to the Manila Bay Coordinating Office (MBCO), an agency under the direct supervision of the DENR secretary, which has coordinative functions among all offices and agencies involved in the rehabilitation, restoration and conservation of Manila Bay.

“I am calling on IATF. Charge those people in DENR of violating… show our rules. If we cannot implement it within their offices, then there is no point implementing them sa taumbayan,” he said.

Domagoso, a presidential aspirant in the 2022 elections, also stressed that it is the DENR that has control over the area amid rehabilitation and development efforts.

“In fact, may gate nga sila para makapasok ka sa dolomite. But due diligence must be observed especially in this situation wherein it can be a super spreader,” he said.

The opening of the Manila Baywalk dolomite beach on Oct. 17 attracted thousands of people during the last two weekends. Videos and photos circulating on social media showed that social distancing and other COVID-19 health protocols were violated.

The DENR later on banned children below 12 years old from entering the dolomite beach, saying it was “overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and interest of the public”.

At a Palace briefing, DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda admitted the shortcoming on the part of the agency but assured that this was addressed immediately.

“Sinasabi nila na nagkaroon ng violation ng social distancing, immediately na-address po yan,” he said. “Nagkulang ng kaunti pero naagapan.”

The Philippine National Police earlier said it will deploy more personnel to the area to help control the crowd.

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