Ni Jose Santino Bunachita
CEBU CITY (February 22, 2023) — Cebu City should have an updated earthquake hazard analysis and vulnerability assessment, the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) urged.
Architect Joseph Michael Espina, CPDO head, said this assessment may already be done by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), but it should be reviewed by the city.
“We have to look at all of this, review it, and find out which are the hazard areas because unfortunately, these are not identified properly,” he told members of the City Council during their regular session this afternoon.
Espina was among the speakers during the public hearing on Councilor Pastor Alcover, Jr.’s proposed ordinance that seeks to set guidelines for earthquake preparedness, response, recovery, and rehabilitation of Cebu City.
Espina said Mayor Mike Rama personally told him that the city should focus on preparedness for earthquakes, especially after the devastating tremor that recently hit Turkey and Syria.
Following the identification of highly susceptible areas, Espina suggested that the city should conduct massive information dissemination campaigns to inform the public on these hazard areas.
We have to look at all of this, review it, and find out which are the hazard areas because unfortunately, these are not identified properly.ArchitectJoseph Michael Espina, City Planning and Development Officer
He also recommended that the Office of the Building Official must strictly enforce building regulations, particularly on structural plans and details.
This, he said, is to ensure that buildings, especially high-rise ones, are earthquake proof.
Meanwhile, Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office Head Harold Alcontin told the City Council that the office is already strengthening its earthquake preparedness efforts.
“This coming March 9, nag-signify na mi sa OCD (Office of Civil Defense) nga mo-participate ang Cebu City Government sa National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill,” he said.
Alcontin said they have met with Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) officials, who briefed them on the situation in the Visayas.
He said they were working with Phivolcs in drafting a “Cebu City Earthquake Response and Recovery Plan”.
Alcover’s proposed ordinance includes provisions on guidelines for earthquake preparedness, for earthquake response, and for recovery and rehabilitation after an earthquake, among others.
After hearing the speakers, Alcover assured that his office will take into consideration their suggestions and recommendations and make the revisions before he will present the proposed measure to the council for final deliberation and approval. #