DPWH finds defects in Palace Guest House
MANILA - The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is now undertaking a nationwide structural resiliency program amid the devastation of Tuesday's earthquake in central Philippines.
DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson said the program seeks to retrofit and upgrade old buildings. Priorities in this program would be hospitals, schools and public buildings.
"Ibig sabihin instead of repair, we upgrade so compliant with the latest Building Code. Para ganun, kung mangyari ulit ganito, sana di na, maging operational, not life threatening. There are engineering interventions to make them structurally resilient," he said.
Singson said the program was planned early this year. He said the DPWH had just completed a 2-day workshop with some aspects on structural integrity.
"Maaaring bitak bitak pero di guguho at sa mga ospital, they continue to function. Di biglang walang power, tubig. They should continue to function in the long run. Mas mura retrofit ngayon kaysa antay ng kalamidad," he said.
As far as public buildings go, the DPWH has already inspected the Senate, the House of Representatives and the President's Bahay Pangarap residence inside Malacanang.
All the buildings passed their examination.
However, Singson said that in the case of the Palace Guest House, they found some defects which they have since addressed.
"Nung inabutan namin iyan, nung binaklas, false beams false columns. May inabot sa dating kwarto ng Pangulo. Nakatukod ng GI pipe. Nakatakip siya eh, ampaw, nakatukod ng GI pipe. Pag inabot ng 7.2 magnitude quake, sigurado gumalaw na yung building," he said.
Singson said areas beside rivers are prone to liquefaction, which is why they fixed the Palace Guest House located on the banks of the Pasig River.