Makati conducts retagging, survey of areas along West Valley Fault

MANILA� The city government has started the retagging of properties and survey of households located within the five-meter buffer zone on either side of the West Valley Fault (WVF), which traverses four barangays in the city and is expected to generate a magnitude 7.2 earthquake in Metro Manila anytime soon, Makati City Mayor Abby Binay said Tuesday.

Binay said she has ordered the retagging to update the current list of affected properties in preparation for the implementation of the WVF marker installation project in the four barangays. She has also asked for a survey of households located in lots within the buffer zones to determine the number of target beneficiaries for the city's relocation assistance program.

We have prioritized the retagging of properties within the WVF buffer zone and the household survey to obtain accurate data for the effective implementation of our WVF marker installation project and to determine how many households would need relocation assistance from the city government, Binay said in a statement.

In coordination with the city Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO), the city Department of Engineering and Public Works is delineating the properties within the buffer zones while the Makati Social Welfare Department is conducting the household survey. The Assessment Department provides property valuation based on proposed delineations, and Liga ng mga Barangay facilitates coordination with the barangay authorities. The Makati DRRMO and Urban Development Department provide technical support to the composite field teams.

To date, the field teams have completed retagging and survey in Barangays East Rembo and Pembo. A total of 96 private properties and 201 households were tagged within the fault's buffer zone in East Rembo, while 87 private properties with 175 households were tagged in Pembo.

The activity commenced on Monday in Barangay Rizal where they tagged 42 private properties with 71 households.

The retagging of properties in the buffer zones is being implemented following the assessment by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) that the current list includes some properties outside of the buffer zones. The said list had been based on the Walk-the-Fault activity done with the agency, using the city's Geographic Information System (GIS), cadastral maps, and property inventory from the Assessment Department.

Under the city's Comprehensive Land Use Plan 2013-2023 and its corresponding Zoning Ordinance, the 10-meter buffer zone of the WVF is delineated as 'open space' with corresponding development strategies. The WVF Marker Installation Project, on the other hand, is part of the Revised Makati Earthquake Contingency Plan, and aims to reinforce public awareness on the location of the fault and its buffer zone.

During dialogs with residents of the four barangays last March, Binay emphasized that the city government will not purchase affected lots, but will instead provide financial assistance to each affected household that agrees to be relocated.

The mayor also said that although there will be no forced eviction for residents who refuse to relocate, they will be asked to sign a waiver stating that they accept the risks, and that they expect no assistance from the city government.

To date, the city government of Makati is studying potential partnership with the National Housing Authority to accommodate households that will agree to relocate.

Dialogues in the four barangays traversed by the fault were initiated by Mayor Abby as part of an aggressive campaign to raise awareness among affected residents and community leaders about the risks of living within the identified buffer zones of the West Valley Fault

Based on the Greater Metro Manila Area Risk Analysis Project (GMMA RAP) results, the estimated impact of a 7.2-magnitude earthquake on Makati alone is as follows: 1,427 fatalities; 4,670 seriously injured; 15,458 slightly injured; and 609 with life-threatening injuries. On the other hand, collapsed or damaged structures are estimated to cover an area of 2,239,323 square meters (slight); 4,291,520 square meters (moderate); 4,261,247 square meters (extensive); and 6,223,243 square meters (complete). Total projected economic loss is pegged at P234.3 billion.

Data from Phivolcs showed the WVF in Makati has an approximate length of almost three kilometres transecting four barangays in the second district, as follows: Comembo-0.16km; East Rembo-1.07kms; Pembo-0.82km; and Rizal-0.83km.

Makati is known for being the first LGU in the country to craft a risk-sensitive land use plan and corresponding zoning ordinance. These development tools earned the approval of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board in 2013.

Source: Philippine News Agency