By Betheena Unite
All national road networks in Region 12 remained passable after a strong earthquake jolted North Cotabato and other parts of Mindanao on Wednesday night, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said Thursday.
Undersecretary Dimas Soguilon, in-charge of the Regional Operations in Mindanao, said that based on an initial report from DPWH Region 12, all national road networks in SOCCSKSARGEN (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City) are passable.
However, pre-positioning of government equipment assets on Paco-Roxas-Arakan Valley Road, Poblacion Magpet-Binay-Nowa-Basak-Temporan-Badiangon-Greenfield Road, Kidapawan-Ilomavic Tourist Road, and Davao-Cotabato Road in North Cotabato have been ordered for emergency clearing operations.
The official furthered that national roads and bridges under the jurisdiction of DPWH Davao Del Sur, Davao Oriental 1st, and Compostela Valley District Engineering Offices are all passable.
According to DPWH Secretary Mark Villar, disaster risk reduction management teams were deployed in North Cotabato and other parts of Mindanao to check the structural integrity of infrastructures after the strong earthquake.
Villar said regional and district engineering offices in Mindanao have been instructed after the strong earthquake “to immediately conduct rapid damage assessment and needs analysis to determine the extent of impacts and assess the priority needs of infrastructure particularly the roads, bridges, major establishments, and government-owned buildings to ensure public safety.”
Structural integrity inspection of bridges on national roads are now being conducted by the department’s Task Force in the regions and districts to determine the physical damaged to infrastructure, Villar added.
The secretary also ordered the DPWH technical assistance in conducting assessment of private buildings due to their vulnerabilities to seismic-induced damages as well as the presence of structural deficiencies.
As a member of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the DPWH is responsible for improving infrastructure systems through infrastructure assessment, rehabilitation and reconstruction programs, as well as road clearance, every time a disaster occurs in our country.