City engineer says Davao’s high rise buildings are quake-ready

Feb. 17, 2017

SAFETY. Engr. Arjean Jumamoy of City Engineer’s Office
​in Davao City ​says ​h​igh-rise building​s​ ​in the city are safe from earthquakes. (Photo by Jason Amisola, Intern)

By Jason Amisola, Intern

DAVAO CITY, Philippines—The City Engineer’s Office here said that high-rise buildings in the city are earthquake-ready, pointing out that these buildings could withstand a 7.0 magnitude quake.

“Structures that were granted permits have passed the process, evaluation of the requirements, especially on structural requirements,” Engr. Arjean Jumamoy said in a weekly forum held at the City Information’s Office on Thursday.

Jumamoy said that old buildings should be evaluated to determine the impact when hit by a quake.

“There will be possibility of damage, maybe minimal damage, but for those buildings which were constructed more than 15 years, because the building is supposedly be designed with a lifespan of 15 years as well as the accountability of the designer. So after 15 years, there should be evaluation,” she said.

But Noel Angeles of the Mine and Geosciences Bureau said that Davao must not be that confident, saying that this city absorbs higher vibration from high intensity quakes such as the recent quake that struck Mati City.

“We also get intensity 5 or 6 here. In the previous years, there was an intensity 5 or 4 earthquake generated offshore of Mati,” he said.

He said construction firms would be required to determine the ground acceleration of a certain area where a building should be erected and if the place is solid rock or an unconsolidated material.

“If you have a project within these areas that have been mapped by the MGB, you ask for certificate or clearance, depending on the issues. If there is an issue, you may be required to install appropriate engineering measures, and then you have to get an environmental clearance certificate before you will be issued a location clearance,” Jumamoy added.

However, Jumamoy admitted that not all buildings were inspected due to lack of staff.

“We prioritized high-rise structures and requests especially from institutions like schools,” she pointed out.

She also added that upon inspection, there would be private practitioners to evaluate the buildings whose job is to verify the report if the building is structuralized or not. (

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