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Tulfo airs concern over possible effects of earthquakes on informal settlers

Senator Raffy Tulfo on Tuesday asked the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) the measures they are implementing to ensure that informal settlers will be safe in case of a powerful earthquake.

Tulfo cited an article by Architect Felino Palafox that said 30 to 40 percent of the buildings in Metro Manila will collapse in case a 7.2 magnitude earthquake occurs and majority of this will come from the informal sector.

"Kayo ho ba nag-inspect na sa mga tirahan ng mga informal settlers? At kung nag-inspect po anong klaseng mga inspection ang ginawa niyo at ano pong klaseng ginawa niyong adjustment para masiguro itong mga pobre nating kababayan pag nagkaroon ng earthquake hindi sila ma-wipe out?" Tulfo asked.

(Have you inspected the homes of the informal settlers? If you did, what kind of inspection was done, and were there any adjustments to ensure that the informal settlers would not be wiped out in case of an earthquake?)

DPWH Undersecretary Maximo Carvajal however replied that the mandate of the agency only covers public buildings. He added that private buildings or properties are inspected by building officials of local government units.

Tulfo was not satisfied with Carvajal's answer and pressed DPWH's John Alexander Belderol to respond.

Belderol said the DPWH has records on the inspections that they have conducted but they have yet to collate it.

This prompted Senators Bong Revilla Jr. and Tulfo to remind the DPWH to be prepared with their records every time they face the Senate.

"Alam niyo pa ang nangyari sa Turkey, sa Lebanon, so automatic yan. 'Yan ang pag-uusapan natin. Dapat ready tayo palagi," Revilla said. —VAL, GMA Integrated News