DPWH boosts PH preparedness for 'The Big One'

The Department of Public Works and Highways has further strengthened the country’s capability in effectively responding to "The Big One”, which refers to a strong earthquake that may hit Metro Manila and nearby areas and is believed to result in mass casualties.

DPWH Secretary Manuel Bonoan said he already approved the policy guidelines to incorporate the emergency supplies components of the Philippines Seismic Risk Reduction and Resilience Project (PSRRRP) to the "The 'Big One' Earthquake Preparedness Program" or the Mobilization Contingency Plan.

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                                        photo: DPWH 


Under the Metro Manila Earthquake Contingency Plan and the Metropolitan Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study, the PSRRRP Component 2 funds the DPWH emergency response equipment for transport, mobility restoration (ERETMR) capacity demand.

“With about 120 new equipment to be added to the existing ERETMR assets of the DPWH across the country, this will not only enhance the capacity to respond in case of a potentially catastrophic earthquake happening in the Greater Metro Manila Area but also other natural hazards nationwide,” said Bonoan.

The PSRRRP is funded by the World Bank, which mandates the DPWH to report on the implementation of material measures and actions and to keep it updated on developments.

The amended regulations also include a five-year DPWH financing for the operation and maintenance of ERETMR in the amount of PHP461.16 million, which is designated as the government counterpart fund to cover the operation and maintenance of materials, parts, and labor costs.

The revised policy designates the DPWH Unified Project Management Office - Buildings and Special Projects Management Cluster as the project-implementation unit of the PSRRRP, in charge of handling the procurement of ERETMR, and responsible for financing management and equipment asset monitoring.

The DPWH - Bureau of Equipment will oversee the technical specifications review and delivery of ERETMR to DPWH regional and district engineering offices. (Trixee Rosel)