Over 400 Makati homes must move away from fault line
Makati residents whose houses sit on top of the West Valley Fault have two choices, according to the city government: They can either evacuate or stay at their own risk.
During an assembly on Wednesday in Barangay Comembo, Mayor Abby Binay urged affected residents to leave the danger zone to minimize the loss of lives and property in case of a strong earthquake.
Binay said they would receive financial aid for their relocation. But for residents who insist on staying put, they would have to submit a waiver.
“We will not expropriate. The city will not buy your property; we will just provide help because you’re affected. If you decline our offer, you have to sign a waiver that you are accepting the risks,” she added.
Rebuilding not allowed
Binay said that those who chose to stay within the danger zone would not be allowed to renovate or rebuild as the city engineering department would no longer issue building permits in the affected areas.
Based on a 2014 survey conducted by the Makati city government, the 3-kilometer-long portion of the West Valley Fault in the city passes through four barangays: Comembo, Rizal, Pembo and East Rembo.
The study also showed that 405 households in these four areas were within the 10-meter danger zone (5 meters on both sides of the fault line). Of the figure, 155 households were in East Rembo, 125 in Rizal, 117 in Pembo and eight in Comembo.
The city government earlier scheduled an assembly for each affected barangay with specialists from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).
The 10-meter danger zone will be converted into a linear park as provided for in the Comprehensive Land Use Plan 2013-2023.
For owners of houses near the fault line but not within the danger zone, the city government has partnered with the nongovernment organization Build Change which will provide technical assistance on how they can reinforce these structures.
Richard Raymond Rodriguez, Makati Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer, said the mechanics were still being ironed out but the program was set to be implemented within the year.
The 100-kilometer-long West Valley Faultline passes through parts of Metro Manila and nearby provinces. The Phivolcs has warned people to be prepared in the event of a major quake, saying that it was ripe for movement.