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Government urged to give incentives to quake-resistant buildings

- Ghio Ong, Helen Flores () - March 29, 2011 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) urged yesterday local government units to provide incentives to residents or building owners whose properties were built above an active fault to lessen the damage and loss of lives in the event of a powerful earthquake.

Phivolcs director Renato Solidum said there were buildings and subdivisions built even before the Marikina Valley Fault was declared an active fault in 1992.

“What to do with the old subdivisions that were transected by the fault? They (LGUs and residents) have to discuss possible steps whether the owner will accept the risk or whether the government will provide financial incentives or any incentives that they can give,” Solidum told The STAR.

“They need to discuss or find ways if they can give incentives to people who want to move out or whatever incentives they can make to reposition some of the buildings that can be moved or they can demolish part of the structure, it depends on the discussion,” he said.

The Marikina Valley Fault, also known as the West Valley Fault, starts from the Sierra Madre and runs through Bulacan, Rodriguez, Rizal, Quezon City, the eastern side of Metro Manila including Pasig, Taguig, Muntinlupa, San Pedro, and Sta. Rosa in Laguna and ends in Carmona, Cavite.

Solidum earlier said the Marikina Valley Fault passes through Valle Verde in Pasig City and Greenmeadows and Blue Ridge subdivisions in Quezon City.

Phivolcs officials had warned the fault, which is capable of generating a magnitude-7.2 earthquake, “is ripe for another major movement.”

Phivolcs deputy administrator Bartolome Bautista earlier said the Marikina Valley fault moves every 200 and 400 years. The last major movement occurred 200 years ago.

Solidum said in the United States, the government buys all properties that were constructed in disaster-prone areas. He said government officials provide incentives to people who will leave the areas.

“We recommend that no buildings or houses should be built on top of the fault,” Solidum said. He said they can provide developers the information on whether the site is near or on top of an active fault.

“It’s the first thing that they can do. That is more than to ask people to vacate their houses and you don’t have relocation areas yet,” Solidum said.

Solidum stressed that Phivolcs only provides technical details to developers, but it is the local officials who will issue the necessary permits. – With Jaime Laude

BARTOLOME BAUTISTA FAULT MARIKINA VALLEY MARIKINA VALLEY FAULT METRO MANILA PASIG CITY AND GREENMEADOWS AND BLUE RIDGE PHILIPPINE INSTITUTE OF VOLCANOLOGY AND SEISMOLOGY PHIVOLCS QUEZON CITY RENATO SOLIDUM SAN PEDRO
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