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Bulacan solon seeks to repeal ‘obsolete’ nat’l building code

August 13, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 305 views

A BULACAN lawmaker has sought to repeal the obsolete 45-year-old National Building Code to prepare the Philippines for the “Big One” or deadly and destructive earthquakes.

In a privilege speech, Bulacan Representative Salvador Pleyto, author of House Bill (HB) 1180 or the “New Philippine Building Act” that would ensure the structural integrity of buildings nationwide, stressed that preparation to make the country’s infrastructures sturdier and can withstand stronger earthquakes is the key to save many lives and billions worth properties from damages.

Pleyto, a civil engineer by profession and a retired Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) official, appealed for the House’s “special consideration” of his pet measure to make it a “top legislative priority” and repeal the Presidential Decree (PD) No. 1096 that was issued in 1977 or 45 years ago.

“The country’s situation vis-à-vis earthquakes demands [an] extreme urgent response on the part of Congress, in light of the ‘Big One’ that is bound to happen again at any time,” Pleyto said.

“Indeed, it’s not a question of ‘if’ but rather of ‘when’ it will really happen,” Pleyto stressed.

“With the enactment of this bill into law, our country will be better prepared to mitigate the loss of lives and damage to property.”

“Stopping the natural phenomenon of [an] earthquake is certainly not humanly possible, but being prepared is all that mere mortal can do to avoid extensive damage and loss of lives,” Pleyto said.

“Indeed, the enactment of a ‘New Philippine Building Act’ to replace the antiquated 45-year-old Presidential Decree 1096 is long overdue and will ensure that more precious lives and properties are saved and protected,” Pleyto said.

“This law (PD 1096) has to be repealed. We have been using this obsolete law,” Pleyto said in filing HB 1180, which would make edifices more durable, especially in the country hit by numerous disasters yearly.

“We have to make our buildings withstand a magnitude 8 earthquake,” Pleyto said.

He added that buildings should be “resilient against earthquakes, fire, flood, landslide, storm, volcano, and multiple hazards.”