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PIA Press Release
2006/10/31

DPWH asks reports on structural integrity of buildings

by Rutchie Cabahug-Aguhob

Cagayan de Oro City (31 October) -- The Regional Disaster Coordinating Council in Northern Mindanao has reiterated its call to the local government units and other concerned government agencies to provide a well-coordinated and organized response to any problem resulting from natural disasters.

"We appeal to the public to fully cooperate with disaster management officials and listen to the warnings and other weather bulletins issued by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) before the occurrence of strong winds and typhoons," P/Chief Supt. Florante J. Baguio, RDCC-10 Chairperson said.

Baguio, who is head of the Philippine National Police in the region, sounded the appeal in the wake of Typhoon "Paeng" whose onslaught had caused heavy damage to properties and agricultural farms in the northernmost part of Luzon.

"A well-coordinated disaster management team can ensure that timely and effective assistance is extended to the affected communities in times of natural disasters like those of Typhoon Milenyo and Paeng, that visited the country, recently" he said.

Meanwhile, the Dept. of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in the region has directed all its district offices to inspect and assess the structural integrity of various infrastructure within their area of jurisdiction, particularly, school buildings.

"The directive is issued in line with the Memorandum Order issued by DPWH Secretary Hermogenes E. Ebdane , Jr., in relation to the devastation that Typhoon Milenyo has brought about," Regional Director Sinaolan T. Macarambon of DPWH-10 said.

She said all the District Engineers (DE) are then asked to issue corresponding certifications that these buildings are still safe for habitation.

"Consequently, they are also asked to submit reports on the effectiveness of the constructed and/or existing major flood control structures in their area in containing flooding during typhoons or calamities," she also said.

To assist the DPWH in conducting structural checks on school buildings to make sure no harm may come to the students are the Dept. of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) as well as the LGUs.

"The DPWH, the LGUs and the other concerned agencies will then be expected to deliver results on the inspection the soonest possible time and map out safety measures to keep the public out of harms' way," Macarambon added. (PIA 10) [top]

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