Rizal 2nd District Representative Fidel Nograles on Wednesday, July 14 urged local government units to conduct structural inspection of old buildings amid the rising death toll in the collapsed condominium building in Surfside, Florida in the United States.
Nograles noted that the Champlain Towers South caved in “without an earthquake or a hurricane” and as the multi-storey structure was about to be subjected to structural inspection after nearly 40 years that it was erected.
“Even with the strict building policies in the US, this unfortunate event happened. As such, it is high time that we take a closer look at the integrity of old buildings in the country especially in populous urban centers like Metro Manila,” Nograles said.
Latest development in the search and retrieval operations indicated that 95 residents have died while 11 were injured. At least 14 persons are still missing.
Among the fatalities was Maricoy Obias-Bonnefoy, a 69-year-old Filipina.
Nograles, a member of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development and and on Local Government, explained that his suggestion is for LGUs to identify and thoroughly inspect buildings that were built 30 years ago or older.
He said that those that are prone to collapse such as structures built on reclamation sites and limestone or soft clay areas should be subjected to structural examination by engineering experts of the concerned LGU.
“We’re pretty sure our mayors and city administrators are willing, able, and concerned enough to do this much-needed initiative to ensure that untoward incidents will be prevented,” said Nograles.
He added: “We cannot afford such avoidable disasters to happen especially now that we are still managing our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.” The rizal solon also vowed to review the National Building Code to check for “possible amendments that will help safeguard the safety and welfare of our people.”