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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Tulfo bill seeks probe on public building safety

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House Deputy Majority Leader Erwin Tulfo led the filing of a resolution to conduct an inquiry on the standard of public structure and public works to withstand earthquakes and other disasters.

Tulfo in House Resolution 1476 urged the appropriate committee of the House “to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the standard of public structure and public works to withstand earthquakes and other natural disasters.”

Tulfo authored the bill together with fellow ACT-CIS party-list Reps. Edvic Yap Jocelyn Tulfo, and Reps. Eric Yap of Benguet and Ralph Tulfo of Quezon City.

A 6.8-magnitude earthquake hit the province of Sarangani, Davao Occidental, and other portions of Mindanao resulting in multiple casualties, injuries, missing citizens, and destruction of properties last Nov. 17.

“According to police officers and rescue workers in the affected provinces, the injuries and casualties following the earthquake were due to falling debris and structures, and collapsed concrete and steel works, among other causes,” the resolution stated.

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Rep. Erwin Tulfo personally visited the area last Sunday after receiving  orders from Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez to assess the situation,  and to give assistance in the affected areas.  He said the earthquakes inflicted damage on some substandard infrastructure, revealing vulnerabilities in construction and highlighting the urgent need for improved resilience measures.

“Upon inspection of infrastructure facilities after the quake, sustainable damages were also found in several roads, bridges, ports, and other publicworks, including a partially submerged fishport in the Municipality of Glan, Sarangani,” the resolution said.

“Whereas, such sustainable damages and their corresponding fatal  repercussions to the public give rise to questions on the standard of public  infrastructure in the country and the regulation of the same by relevant  government agencies,” it added.

In seeking a congressional inquiry, the lawmakers also said, there is an urgent need to ensure that the repair,  replacement, or development of damaged public infrastructure and works must be completed timely but not at the risk of substandard quality.

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