LGUs told to submit structural assessment of buildings | Inquirer News
in preparation for the 'big one'

LGUs told to submit structural assessment of buildings

/ 05:52 PM February 26, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has ordered local government units (LGUs) to submit an assessment on the structural integrity of all buildings and infrastructure in their jurisdiction within 90 days, in preparation for earthquakes, especially the “Big One” — an anticipated earthquake of magnitude 7.2 quake or higher.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said the period starts on Wednesday, Feb. 26. The assessment will be submitted by the LGUs to the DILG and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

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“All LGUs are expected to submit to the DILG and DPWH the structural assessment of all buildings and infrastructure in their jurisdiction as well as their action plans to respond to the assessment findings 90 days from today,” he said in a press conference at Camp Crame in Quezon City.

Aside from the assessment itself, LGUs are also required to submit their action plans to respond to their findings.

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Año said the directive is in line with the Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2019-01 of the DILG, DPWH, and the Department of Trade and Industry issued in October last year, which aims to ensure safe, adaptive, and disaster-resilience communities.

No show-cause order will be issued if LGUs fail to meet the deadline, according to Año, explaining that the directive was only meant to fast-track the assessment.

He explained LGUs are expected to have already started their review on the buildings and infrastructure in their areas since the memorandum was issued as early as last year.

However, he warned that administrative cases may be filed against LGUs in case disasters cause severe damage in their areas and they are found to have been negligent in enforcing measures for resiliency.

Administrative cases that may be filed range from negligence, actions inimical to public interest, to grave misconduct, which may be tantamount to dismissal from office, suspension, or permanent banning from seeking public office.

Criminal charges may be filed if there is a loss of life due to the disaster and local government units are found to have been negligent of their duty to ensure the safety of their constituents, according to the Interior Secretary.

Under the joint memorandum, LGUs are also ordered to enforce resilient building standards through strengthened building permit procedures and enhanced standards for construction materials. They are likewise urged to collaborate with business and civil society sectors and communities for disaster resilience measures.

“Resiliency is the norm. Now, our mission is to have peaceful, progressive, or resilient communities,” said Año.

Edited by EDV
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TAGS: Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Eduardo Año, Local Government Units
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