QC orders retrofitting of city-owned buildings

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THE Quezon City Council passed an ordinance mandating the seismic retrofitting of all buildings owned by the city and barangays (villages) in preparation for a big quake.

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City Ordinance 2549-2016 empowers the City Engineering Department to identify potentially-hazardous buildings. The ordinance also covers wood-frame structures constructed prior to the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Luzon in July 1990.

The city council said buildings should be strengthened to reduce the damage and toll on human lives should a strong quake shake the city.

For essential and high-risk buildings, work must be completed within four years after the adoption of the ordinance. For medium and low-risk buildings, work must be completed within six years.

High-risk buildings are structures housing 100 or more persons while medium-risk buildings are those occupied by less than a hundred persons.

Mayor Herbert Bautista in January signed the ordinance principally authored by Councilor Gian Carlo Sotto of District 3.

The ordinance mandates the city engineer, Environmental Protection and Waste Management, General Services Development Department and the City General Services Development Department to coordinate with the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

Bautista underscored the need for administrators of all government buildings to assess the “structural integrity” of their buildings to make sure these are disaster resilient.

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