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Review of country's building code mulled

MANILA (Xinhua) – The Philippines might have to review the requirements that property developers should adopt in constructing a building following the recent earthquake tragedies that rocked other countries.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje said Friday he is urging a review of the Building Code of the Philippines in light of growing public concerns on the impacts of geologic hazards on the structural integrity of various infrastructures, including residential houses and buildings, in the country.

“The series of strong earthquakes that jolted Japan, Haiti, Chile, and New Zealand should give us an impetus to go revisit our Building Code to determine if it already needs some updating,” Paje said.

Paje had also directed the Environmental Management Bureau to work for the full integration of Engineering Geological and Geohazard Assessment Report (EGGAR) into the Environmental Impact Assessment System.

The EGGAR shall be considered a basic requirement especially for development projects located in areas prone to landslides and flooding, and those near faultlines and volcanoes, he said.

Paje urged national government agencies and local government units using the Building Code as basis in the approval of land development projects to ensure that recommendations in the EGGAR are properly implemented and complied with during the construction phase.  

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The Philippines is naturally prone to various geologic and natural hazards like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and major mass movements because of its geographic, geologic and tectonic setting. 

It straddles the western fringes of the Pacific Ring of Fire where most of strong earthquakes occur.

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