By Chiro Chavez
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte has ordered the city’s building officials to inspect the buildings in the locality to ensure their structural safety following the series of tremors that rocked Batanes province on Saturday.
“Inutusan ko na ang building officials na i-check ang stability ng mga buildings natin para malaman namin kung alin ang dapat i-condemn na at kung ano ang kailangan ng retrofitting (I have asked the building officials to check the stability of the buildings to determine if they should be condemned or if they need to be retrofitted),” Belmonte said.
On Saturday, the city government participated in the 5th national earthquake drill at UP Technohub in Diliman.
Belmonte also has declared the city’s readiness to deal with any natural disasters.
However, Belmonte said there is still a need to beef up the city’s resources even if it has enough equipment and capability to deal with natural disasters stressing “not to leave anything to chance’’.
“Praktisado na kami. Ilang beses na naming nagagawa (itong drill)… Pero puwede pang dagdagan para ang mga distrito natin, mayroon ding resources (We are already capable with our numerous practice and participation in these drills. But we can still improve to ensure additional resources for the districts),” Belmonte said.
Belmonte thanked her predecessor, former Mayor Herbert Bautista, for his valuable role in modernizing the city’s disaster response capabilities.
“The credit goes to Mayor Herbert kasi siya talaga ang nagpa-modernize nito (since he really modernized this (disaster equipment),” said Belmonte.
Belmonte also lauded the private sector for their valuable contribution to the success of the earthquake drill even as she expressed readiness to help businesses craft their own disaster plan so they will be prepared for any eventuality.
“May plano ako na kapag nagre-renew sila ng business permits, may checklist sana kung saan malalaman natin kung mayroon silang disaster plan. Para iyong mga wala, aalalayan namin na magkaroon para 100 percent magkaroon ng disaster plan (We plan if they renew their business permit. We should have the checklist to determine if they have disaster plans. So the city government can assist those without these and make 100 percent of the businesses have disaster plans,),” Belmonte said.
During the earthquake drill, Belmonte was joined by Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Danilo Lim and Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology head Renato Solidum.
Lim, for his part, was impressed by Quezon City’s overwhelming response to the drill, especially from barangay officials, volunteer groups, residents and the private sector.