DENR: Build homes to withstand ‘new normal’


The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is preparing to have a hazard-free and disaster-free year ahead.

Environment Secretary Ramon Paje has recommended the construction of structures that can withstand the “new normal” of powerful typhoons, as he reminded the public to learn from the lessons taught by the devastation wrought by the recent strong storms.

Paje likewise urged local government units (LGUs) to strictly abide by the permanent danger zones declared in the geohazard maps and enforce the “no man’s land” rule to save lives.

In a statement, the environment secretary said the public should consider building structures that can withstand strong winds and storm surges spawned by typhoons at the “new normal” rate of 250 to 280 kilometers per hour.


Flood-resistant buildings

Paje pointed out that typhoons bearing strong winds, high gustiness and intense rainfall were the new normal that the public must prepare against, adding, “We must accept the fact that because of climate change the typhoons have become much stronger and the volume of rainfall has increased tenfold.”

“We therefore recommend that all houses and public buildings to be constructed must have the ability to survive strong winds and storm surges. We have to make sure that new buildings are able to resist the effects of typhoons and floods,” he said.

Paje said that the measure was only one way to prepare for powerful tropical storms in order to avoid death and destruction.

He pointed out that the horrifying experience from recent devastating storms should ring alarm bells for everyone because it is a “new normal that we all must learn to accept.”

The environment secretary also reminded all LGUs to review the geohazard maps, which identify all landslide and flashflood-prone barangays in the country and were prepared by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau.

He said a thorough study by the LGUs of the geohazard maps would enable them to save lives as they could plan ahead and take steps to mitigate the effects of flashfloods and landslides in their areas.

Forced evacuation

“LGUs must have the political will to evacuate and, even in the worst scenario, force the evacuation in certain areas or communities that are within permanent danger zones,” Paje said.

The DENR has distributed close to 70,000 copies of the geohazard map to LGUs, including the 42,000 barangays in the country.

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Wadav

    paano sir kung di gagawin ng LGU ang magpa evacuate ng mga tao sa mag lugar na delikado? kagaya ng mga nangyari sa Cagayan de Oro, di nila gagawin kc mawawalan sila ng botante.

  • kilabot

    make your homes abnormal, that’s what denr is saying; 
    if you practice perversion in your homes you’ll be “in” with the new normal. and feel at home.

  • larry

    denr needs to update the current building code if it is really serious in what it is saying, otherwise nagpapapogi points lang yan.  if the building code is updated, then the most important thing for denr needs to do  with the help of dilg and dpwh is to have it implemented at lgu level.  of course dapat may penalty clause for lgu and its employees if they do not implement it or gawing gatasan ang building code.  alam nyo naman ang mga yan, napaka-creative 

  • surigao_miners


  • beerhunters

    typhoons destroy the environment, so,  what you gonna do ’bout it ??? Environmental advocates picket the DENR, for what ?? For not issuing a directive declaring typhoons illegal! Bwa ha ha haha

  • charles

    you guys at the DENR should instead reforest our denuded mountains and hills..instead of giving new logging and mining permits…wala kang kwenta secretary Paje!!!!

    • beerhunters

      reforest, you say?? Sec.Paje knows very well about those ghost reforestation projects and ghost forest seedling growing  projects, for, he practically  grew up in the Bureau of Forestry!!! Bwa ha ha ha  Isn’t it true Sec. Paje??answer me!

  • Concerned Citizen

    Build homes resistant to logging-triggered mudslides?

  • Critical

    Aside from giving us warnings, the Paje should mitigate impacts of hazards by implementing a genuine environmental protection program.

  • Isko

    The structural design of houses in the Batanes Islands should be helpful.

  • hopeless_na

    The gov’t should also stopped the manufacture/sale of sub-standard/undersized building materials.

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