Critics slam MMDA shake-drills PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 16 July 2017 14:17




LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. `Tell us,”’they said, `when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?’ Jesus answered… `There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains’…” (Jesus, our God and Savior, in Matthew 24:3, 7-8, the Holy Bible).


CRITICS SLAM MMDA SHAKE-DRILLS: I don’t know about you but many are scoffing at the way the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is pursuing its third metro-wide quake drill, and even its first two quake drills under the previous administration.

The complaint is that, MMDA is absolutely wrong to be focusing only on incidents occurring on the streets of the metropolis, particularly along Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue when, even the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has already expressed grave alarm at tragedy striking hundreds of high rise buildings and their occupants numbering thousands when a magnitude 7 earthquake comes.

PRC Chairman and Sen. Richard Gordon, in a talk before Rotarians from District 3810 under the leadership of then District Governor Ernest Yuyek last April 01, 2017, raised the specter of death and destruction from these high rise buildings by disclosing that some 1.3 million residential structures; 38% of the 10-30 story buildings (or some 981 tall structures); 14% of the 30-60 story buildings (119 of them), and 30-35% of public buildings, may possibly crumble and collapse during the earthquake.


WHAT ARE MMDA’S PLAN ON HIGH RISE BUILDINGS? The question among MMDA observers is that, why are Chairman Danny Lim and his officials silent about what the PRC seems to be very afraid of? Or, do MMDA officials doubt the veracity of what the PRC, through Gordon who had been the Red Cross chief since time immemorial, is talking about?

What, indeed, are the contingency plans when high rise buildings collapse, or are set ablaze in its topmost floors during the earthquake? What is the MDDA plan about these? Or, does the MMDA has any plan at all, since, from all indications, it is merely continuing what former MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino conceived of during the Aquino presidency?

Then, there are equally-serious concerns, such as that raised by DZEC Malacanang reporter Ludovico Somintac in one episode of “Tambalang Batas at Somintac”, a program that goes on air daily at 6 am to 7 am at DZEC 1062 kHz. Somintac called my attention to apparent gaps in the concrete support of Metro Manila bridges, particularly that of the Mabini Bridge in Manila, which could give way anytime there is a strong tremor that would hit them.


WHY IS THERE NO SPIRITUAL ANGLE IN SHAKE DRILL? The undeniable reality is that, nobody but nobody can really prepare for a magnitude 7 earthquake hitting an area like Metro Manila, particularly Manila which is predicted to sink once the soil where it is standing right now would liquefy. Then, as Gordon had been saying based on researched data, some 50,000 or so people will die instantly the moment the earthquake strikes.

That being the case, many Christian believers could not understand the failure likewise of the MMDA to include in its preparations the spiritual strengthening of Metro Manila residents. I am not referring  here to any religious activity, or the affiliation of people with their churches or religious organizations. I am referring here to the deepening of our people’s faith and fear of God, since it is God alone who can control whatever is to happen.

Perhaps, the MMDA can simultaneously launch a campaign to entice Metro Manilans—and the rest of Filipinos as well—to become more aware of who or what God is all about, according to their own fate and beliefs. Perhaps we can ask our people to read their respective holy books—the Bible for Christians, the Koran for Muslims, and so forth and so on—more conscientiously and try to determine from them what can be done to avert tragedies.


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