Wall collapse hits 5 houses in Cebu-A A +A
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
CEBU CITY -- A perimeter wall in the joint venture project of the Cebu Provincial Government and Filinvest Land Inc. (FLI) in Barangay Apas, Cebu City collapsed past midnight on Sunday, damaging five houses.
The incident prompted the Cebu City Government’s Office of the Building Official (OBO) to suspend the construction work in the area.
The Province and FLI are developing a 1.2-hectare lot in Sitio Ucma in Apas into a business process outsourcing (BPO) complex.
The complex is situated on a lot previously occupied by the Bagong Buhay Rehabilitation Center (BBRC) and the Cebu City Drug Rehabilitation Center along Salinas Drive. Megawide Construction Corp., a contractor based in Manila, is building it.
In an interview on Monday, Apas barangay captain Ramil Ayuman said the perimeter wall at the project site collapsed around 2 a.m. Sunday.
Ayuman said the collapse was due to the excavation works being done inside the project site.
Frequent rains brought about by Tropical Storm Ofel last week also contributed to the soil movement, he said.
Ayuman’s technical assistant Emilio Aguanta said the portion of the wall that collapsed is about 20 meters long.
Engineer Pascual Jimenez, head of the enforcement division of OBO, said a notice of suspension was issued to Megawide on Monday morning when they inspected the site.
Jimenez said a notice of illegal excavation may also be issued, saying the contractor lacks an excavation permit from the City.
“Wa man sila’y record diri sa amoang opisina (We don’t have any record of them in our office),” he said.
Because of this, the contractor may be fined P3,000 plus surcharges, which will be computed based on the number of days they started excavating to the time they will get a permit.
But in a press release sent last night, Tristan Las Marias, FLI’s vice president for Visayas and Mindanao, denied Jimenez’s statement, saying they already have an approved excavation permit from the City.
He said it was issued by OBO last September 7.
As to the incident, Las Marias attributed the matter to the rains in the past days, which softened the soil foundation of the perimeter wall.
Las Marias assured, though, that they will be extending assistance to the families affected by the incident.
“Megawide has already communicated with the barangay officials and the affected residents and is committed to provide all necessary assistance to reconstruct the affected houses and provide financial compensation,” he said.
Las Marias also assured that the construction work is being done with “utmost care and due regard for the safety of all concerned.”
He added that FLI and Megawide are committed to adopt measures to strengthen the soil foundation in the excavation area, in order to prevent a similar incident.
Based on records of the barangay, those affected by the accident are the houses of Cecile Anzano, Daylinda Enriquez, Jovy Amamio, Zosimo Negre and Dodong Nuñez.
Their inspection, said Ayuman, showed minor damage in the houses, including cracks on the walls and floors.
Amamio, however, lost an entire wall.
“Ang wall man gud sa BBRC ang iya pong gihimong wall sa iyang balay mao nang wa gyuy tabon iyang balay ron (He used the old jail’s wall, so now that part of his house is exposed),” the captain said.
For their safety, the families were advised by the barangay on Monday to stay at least three meters from the wall that collapsed.
Ayuman said they will be meeting with OBO, the Capitol, FLI, and the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council today, Tuesday, to discuss if the affected families will have to be evacuated.
Judith Negre, who belongs to one of the affected families, wants the contractor to immediately repair the wall.
“Mo-demand gyud mi nga ayuhon na nila ug lig-unon na nila para sa among safety (We demand that they fix this right away and that they make the wall stronger, for our safety),” Negre said in an interview.
If the area will not be repaired, Negre fears their tenants will move away. “Asa na man dayon mi ug panginabuhian? (And then what would we live on?),” she said.
Repair works began immediately after the accident.
At the Capitol, Provincial Engineer Adolfo Quiroga said his office did not receive any report that a wall collapsed at the joint venture site.
But Quiroga told Sun.Star Cebu he instructed Paul Entera, real estate administrator of the Provincial Government, to visit the construction site on Monday.
He said there was only a wall that cracked in the back portion of the construction. (PDF/With FMG of Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 30, 2012.