Permanent ‘no-build’ danger zones pushed

 

 

By Rose de la Cruz

 

Agusan del Norte (1st district) Rep. Lawrence Fortun, is pushing for a permanent “no build” danger zone in quake-prone Mindanao and to suspend mining activities to ensure the safety of miners.

 

In authoring HB 2451 (an act creating the Department of Disaster Resilience) Fortun stressed that “disaster adaptation and mitigation includes, among other things, identifying no-build zones in or adjacent to  earthquake fault lines where construction of houses and other buildings shall be banned or very strictly regulated to prevent and minimize loss of lives and damage to property.”

 

Fortun said, "the need for banning or stringent regulation for the construction of houses and buildings in identified danger zones has become exigent now in Mindanao in the light of the recent continuing earthquakes."

 

Fortun also said, "it would be prudent now for the authorities to suspend mining activities and conduct onsite inspections to ensure the safety of mine workers because all these strong ground shaking we have been experiencing for more than two weeks now would expectedly impact on the stability and safety of mining tunnels and shafts.”

 

Fortun noted that “there are accounts showing that many of these mineworkers are not regular employees and thus deprived of benefits due to workers employed in a hazardous environment, not to mention that in certain areas, some workers are even children.”

 

Fortun is the author of House Resolution 125 seeking house probe on the effects of mining on the environment, public health, among others.

 

He noted that recently the Philippine Volcanology and Seismology launched its Metro Davao Earthquake Model and Metro Davao Site Response Atlas which reports details needed for effective disaster adaptation and response management especially at the local government level."

 

Fortun pointed to the need for "a basic complement of disaster management specialists on geology, seismology, and meteorology in every province and major city.”

 

"Hindi kakayanin ng gobyerno na bawat city and municipality meron, pero doable na ang bawat province, an if not, at least initially bawat region. Support structure ang mga state universities and colleges na located in the provinces para sila ang multiplier force," he said.

 

He also threw his support for the updating or replacement of the national building code and institutionalizing in law the structural engineering standards," said Fortun, author of House Resolution 379 seeking probe on the alleged smuggling and proliferation of substandard steel products in the Philippines.

 

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