DPWH Inspects Structural Integrity of Buildings and Bridges

Malacañang Palace and River Pasig, Manila 1898Image via Wikipedia
Malacanang Palace, 1898
A March 18, 2011 press release by the Department of Public Works and Highways
Government buildings, national bridges, and other critical respondents and infrastructure will be subjected to reinspection/reassessment by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to check their present structural integrity in support to the concerted effort for disaster preparedness and response mechanism.
Secretary Rogelio L. Singson directed all DPWH Regional and District units to reconduct inspection of all public buildings particularly hospitals and school buildings, fire and police stations, as well national bridges to assess their earthquake vulnerability following the tremor that hit Haiti in 2010 and recent ground shaking in New Zealand and Japan.
In Metro Manila, structures that were constructed before the enactment of National Building Code in 1972 such as buildings in the Malacañang compound, including Malacañan Palace, the Senate within the GSIS Building in Pasay, the Batasang Pambansa, the Supreme Court, and the Court of Appeals are among in the list of national government buildings to be checked, said Undersecretary and Task Force on Building Inspection Head Raul C. Asis.
Asis led a team of trained inspectors in the safety checking of National Museum Building in Manila whether this old structure could withstand earthquake.
By doing this periodic checking of structures for signs of cracks and defects, government reduces the possible damage and loss of lives in the event of an earthquake with possible immediate engineering intervention, said Asis.
The DPWH’s reinspection also covers, in coordination with local building officials, some previously declared condemned building structures to check whether they are still occupied, have no tenants, or have been demolished.
The DPWH district offices were also directed to get the local government units from the provincial down to barangay level involved in disaster preparedness by checking local roads and bridges, and public buildings.
DPWH has also exerted effort to prevent or mitigate disaster by subjecting some major old bridges that include San Juanico Bridge and flyovers to rehabilitation/repair by retrofitting works thru steel jacketing, use of carbon fiber and restrengthening/reinforcement of footings.
The Department is also doubling its efforts to hasten the preparation of plans and other pertinent documents for the reconstruction/rehabilitation/repair of newly identified bridges that manifested signs of wear and tear in Metro Manila.