Makati City Mayor Abigail Binay has ordered the retagging of critical structures and areas in the city near the West Valley Fault, in line with the city government’s contingency measures for a powerful earthquake that could hit Metro Manila.
Tagged were properties and households located within the five-meter buffer zone on either side of the Fault, which traverses four barangays in the city and is expected to generate a magnitude-7.2 earthquake in Metro Manila anytime soon.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology identified Makati as one of the cities in Metro Manila to be severely affected by a massive quake if the Valley Fault System moves.
Binay said an update of the present list of affected properties is needed to implement the marker installation project in the four barangays. She also asked for a survey of households located in lots within the buffer zones to determine the number of target beneficiaries for the city’s relocation assistance program.
“We have prioritized the retagging of properties within the fault buffer zone and the household survey to obtain accurate data for the effective implementation of our marker installation project and to determine how many households would need relocation assistance from the city government,” said Binay.
In coordination with the Makati Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, the city’s Department of Engineering and Public Works is delineating the properties within the buffer zones, while the Makati Social Welfare Department is conducting the household survey.
The Assessment Department provides property valuation based on proposed delineations, and Liga ng mga Barangay facilitates coordination with the barangay authorities. The Makati DRRMO and Urban Development Department provide technical support to the composite field teams.
To date, the field teams have completed retagging and survey in Barangays East Rembo and Pembo. A total of 96 private properties and 201 households were tagged within the fault’s buffer zone in East Rembo, while 87 private properties with 175 households were tagged in Pembo.
On Monday, they started the activity in Barangay Rizal where they tagged 42 private properties with 71 households on the first day.
The retagging of properties in the buffer zones is being implemented following the assessment by Phivolcs that the current list includes some properties outside of the buffer zones. The list had been prepared using the city’s Geographic Information System, cadastral maps and property inventory from the Assessment Department.
Under the city’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan 2013-2023 and its corresponding Zoning Ordinance, the 10-meter buffer zone of the fault system is delineated as “open space” with corresponding development strategies.
The Marker Installation Project, on the other hand, is part of the Revised Makati Earthquake Contingency Plan, and aims to reinforce public awareness on the location of the fault and its buffer zone.
During dialogs with residents of the four barangays last March, Mayor Binay emphasized the city government will not purchase affected lots, but will instead provide financial assistance to each affected household that agrees to be relocated.
The mayor also said that although there will be no forced eviction for residents who refuse to relocate, they will be asked to sign a waiver stating that they accept the risks, and that they expect no assistance from the city government.
To date, the city government is studying a potential partnership with the National Housing Authority to accommodate households that will agree to relocate.
Binay initiated dialogs in the four barangays traversed by the fault as part of an aggressive campaign to raise awareness among affected residents and community leaders about the risks of living within the identified buffer zones of the West Valley Fault.
Based on the Greater Metro Manila Area Risk Analysis Project results, the estimated impact of a 7.2-magnitude earthquake on Makati alone is as follows: 1,427 fatalities; 4,670 seriously injured; 15,458 slightly injured; and 609 with life-threatening injuries.
Collapsed or damaged structures are estimated to cover an area of 2,239,323 sq m (slight); 4,291,520 square meters (moderate); 4,261,247 sq m (extensive); and 6,223,243 sq m (complete). Total projected economic loss is pegged at P234.3 billion.
Based on Phivolcs data, the fault in Makati has an approximate length of almost three kilometers transecting four barangays in the second district, as follows: Comembo, 0.16 km; East Rembo, 1.07 km; Pembo, 0.82 km; and Rizal, 0.83 km.
Makati is known for being the first LGU in the country to craft a risk-sensitive land use plan and corresponding zoning ordinance. These development tools earned the approval of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board in 2013.
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