April 25, 2019
Aspiring senator Rodrigo “Jiggy” Manicad Jr. has called for stricter implementation of the building code following the deadly earthquake that struck several areas in Luzon.
“Let this recent quake be an urgent reminder that we have to be prepared at any moment. Though we have a building code, the government has to enforce strict implementation and frequent inspection of buildings, homes and other structures,” Manicad said.
He issued the statement after several people were killed and others were trapped in the rubble when the Chuzon Supermarket in Porac, Pampanga collapsed.
President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the suspension of business operations of all branches of Chuzon Supermarket. He also ordered an investigation into the collapse of the supermarket to determine the structural integrity of that building.
Manicad also stressed the need to improve the country’s emergency preparedness.
He cited his experience in covering multiple disasters, including the deadly Haiti earthquake in 2010.
“From what I’ve learned covering the earthquake in Haiti, the earthquake itself can be extremely deadly. In the case of Haiti, ilang daang libong tao ang namatay (thousands died),” the former journalist said.
“Pero magiging mas deadly pa ang earthquake kung hindi natin bubusisiin ang ating building code at ang struktura sa mga komunidad lalo na sa lungsod (Earthquakes will be more deadly if we do not scrutinize our building code and structures especially in cities),” he added.
Manicad cited Japan, which enforces earthquake drills every month and has strict protocols for students in the event of a disaster.
At the same time, he urged Filipinos to be prepared for the “Big One.”
“We should institutionalize the instruction of emergency preparedness in our schools. It’s not enough to have a yearly fire or earthquake drill,” Manicad said.
“We have to require students to prepare emergency kits, teach them to know possible evacuation areas by heart, and provide safety equipment such as hard-hats,” he added.
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