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Editorial | Moving forward after the quake

The loss of potential revenue from tourism due to the earthquakes in the month of October is a certainty. We soldier on, as the saying goes, and work to make the situation better as we move past the debilitating fear of another strong quake.

The quakes remind us that disaster preparedness does not only mean what and how to survive a strong jolt. It also reminded us that disaster preparedness and resiliency begin when the infrastructures are carefully planned by architects and built by engineers and contractors. Most of all, that the proposed budget is not diminished due to layers of SOP. The destruction on vital infrastructure across the affected regions laid bare the ugly side of governance. We have seen newly built municipal buildings turn into rubbles or are condemned by structural engineers.

Arturo Milan, city chamber president, wants a review of the National Building Code of the Philippines, a law passed 40 years ago by the late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. Certainly, there are many provisions of that law that are passé in these modern times when the skyline of the country has changed drastically. Even the provision on parking spaces of the building code cry to be amended.

Milan is pushing for a new set of standards on structural design and construction methodology because, he said, most of those structures that collapsed were built without following building standards. He cited the number of homes that he has seen rendered inhabitable after the quake. The Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE) is conducting an inspection on all structures in the city which could be the basis in proposing amendments to the building code.

We only have lessons learned from the quake. And government should ensure that what we perceive as weakness will not only end up as purely rhetoric.

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