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PIA Press Release

DPWH inspects public structures, bridges in Davao

By Rose B. Palacio

Davao City (6 December) -- Following orders of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane Jr., all regional heads of said infrastructure agency has been mandated to inspect and evaluate structures and bridges across the country to safeguard lives and properties.

In Davao region, DPWH assistant regional director for operations Engr. Rey Tamayo said Secretary Ebdane has created the Task Force on Building Inspection of DPWH to inspect and evaluate public school buildings and bridges across the nation to identify critical structures because these might not sustain life-threatening damage should a major earthquake occur.

The President would not allow students to use "critical" public school buildings for classes.

In Manila, six schools are among the 60 Metro Manila structures recommended for urgent detailed evaluation by DPWH while in Davao region, so far, reevaluation on public structures is being conducted and school buildings are yet to be reassessed for demolition and replacement.

Even before the issuance of Secretary Ebdane's order, ARD Tamayo said "we have been conducting a continuous inspection and evaluation on infrastructures particularly on bridges and school buildings." Every month, we are submitting current infrastructure status reports, Tamayo said.

DPWH XI Director Jerome dela Rosa has also given us strict compliance on assessment of public facilities and continue reevaluating on these structures and bridges "to ensure that they can sustain future occurrence of earthquakes," ARD Tamayo said in an interview with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).

Inspection and reevaluation of public structures throughout the nation is part of President's Disaster Preparedness program following a deadly earthquake that struck central Indonesia which killed more than 6,200 people and the latest earthquake that hit some parts of Philippines.

In fact, the President enjoins all public elementary and high school students to join the holding of earthquake drill that should be spearheaded in every school.

The last time the country held a nationwide earthquake was in June 20, 2006. However, the Department of Education is encouraged to conduct earthquake drill in their own localities so that students will know what to do in times of calamities. (PIA XI) [top]

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