Delta lines up actions to prevent disasters, terrorism

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—The Pampanga provincial government will seek the help of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in stopping hardware stores from selling substanstard construction materials for homes and buildings, Vice Governor Dennis Pineda said.

Pineda said DTI will be requested to also determine whether or not private contractors are using the right materials for government projects especially schools.

The vice governor, who co-chairs the Pampanga Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC), proposed the actions after Science and Technoloy Undersecretary Renato Solidum urged local governments to strictly enforce the National Building Code.

“Design, workmanship and materials determine the safety of structures during earthquakes and their related hazards such as ground shaking and liquefaction,” Solidum said at the multi-hazards disaster summit organized by the PDRRMC at the Kingsborough International Convention Center here on Wednesday. Gov. Lilia Pineda chairs the PDRRMC.

“This summit aims to help our barangay and municipal leaders to better understand earthquakes, flooding and terrorism,” Pineda said. Leaders of the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a PDRRMC member, and managers of malls attended the summit.

Solidum, who is concurrent officer-in-charge of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), said Pampanga should not only prepare for the Big One, a scenario where a magnitude 7.2 earthquake would occur from the movement of West Valley Fault, which spans more than 100 kilometers between Doña Remedios Trinidad town in Bulacan and Calamba in Laguna.

He said Pampanga’s southeastern towns were expected to experience the Big One at Intensity 8, which might kill 200 people if they were unprepared.

Solidum advised that Pampanga should also watch out for earthquakes that can be generated by movements along the Philippine Fault Zone segments in Infanta, Quezon and Gabaldon in Nueva Ecija.

The Infanta segment caused a strong tremor in 1880. The Gabaldon segment slipped in 1641, killing over 3,000 people in Metro Manila and Central Luzon. The Digdig Fault near Gabaldon segment last moved in 1990, producing the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that damaged Nueva Ecija and Baguio City.

“Pampanga should make internal preparations. At the same time, it is in the position to help the national government make Clark [Freeport] a national command center during major disasters,” he said.

The Department of Public Works and Highways briefed local leaders on ongoing and completed flood-control works.

The Pampanga police explained the steps and mechanisms outlined by Republic Act 9372 in battling terrorism.

“We can’t stop Nature but we can prepare our communities to be safe from natural hazards as well as human-made disasters. Our unity and coordination are important in responding to disasters,” Pineda said as he assured support for training and logistics needs.

Angelina Blanco, PDRRMC action officer, prepared a set of videos for barangay captains. These contain step-by-step procedures on what to do for every hazard.