OWNERS of business establishments should not only prepare for a possible big quake, they should also draw up a quick recovery plan to ensure that they can resume operations as soon as possible, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said on Tuesday.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino encouraged businessmen to put up alternate corporate headquarters in areas that will not be greatly affected by a big quake.
“We cannot do away with earthquakes. What we can do is to prepare and to be able to recover from its effects quickly. In three months we must have a semblance of normalcy,” he noted.
“We should have a mindset for resiliency… what we are trying to have with the business sector is to have a quick recovery because Metro Manila accounts for 39 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product and Metro Manila is the economic center of the Philippines so we must have quick recovery plans,” Tolentino told The Manila Times.
He called on the people to always be prepared, adding each household should have its own recovery plans.
“Preparedness cannot be imposed, preparedness should be a culture and it should evolve,” he stressed.
The MMDA is set to hold a metro-wide earthquake drill on July 30, 2015.
“We should take this drill seriously, it is the first time that we are doing this so we must employ seriousness,” Tolentino said. “Beyond our July 30 drill is the challenge for us to have our own individual recovery plan and I refer to households, barangays, businesses, private establishments, churches, schools and other entities. We must also exert the needed efforts to retrofit our houses so as not to endanger ourselves when the earthquake occurs.”
During the drill, Metro Manila will be divided into four quadrants — north, east, west and south. The west quadrant will prepare for a fire scenario, the north a hospital triage medical scenario, the south will focus on debris clearing while the east quadrant will deal with collapsed structure scenario.
Tolentino said if a strong quake does shake the metropolis, the reclaimed area along Macapagal Avenue in Pasay City will serve as temporary burial site. Each quadrant will have a command center as follows: Intramuros golf course for the west quadrant, the Veterans golf course for the north, Villamor golf course for the south and the Santolan depot for the east quadrant.
Tolentino said satellite evacuation centers will be put up for each quadrant to be announced in the coming days.