CICC off-limits to public-A A +A
Sunday, October 20, 2013
THE Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) is off-limits to the public because of the damage it sustained after last Tuesday’s earthquake and its aftershocks.
Structural engineers who inspected the facility also restricted entry to the legislative building inside the Capitol compound, particularly the vice governor’s office.
The engineers, who are part of the Earthquake Quick Response Program (EQRP), also inspected the main Capitol building and the Bureau of Agriculture Extension (Baex) building, which is also inside the compound, last Friday.
They recommended repairs for both buildings but did not restrict access to the structures. This means offices in both buildings will be open to the public tomorrow.
In the meantime, the offices of the vice governor and Provincial Board (PB) members will move to the Capitol building.
The EQRP is composed of representatives from the Office of Civil Defense, National Disaster Risk-Reduction and Management Council, Association of Structural Engineers of the Philippines and the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers Inc.
The team submitted its findings to Gov. Hilario Davide lll last Friday afternoon.
Ethel Natera, head of the Provincial Information Office, said the provincial engineer should have the damage estimates by tomorrow.
At 8 a.m. last Friday, the EQRP team and Provincial Engineer Hector Jamora inspected the 28,000-square-meter area where the P800-million CICC building stands.
It was built as the venue for the 2007 Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit by private contractor WT Construction Inc.
As a safety precaution, the team warned against falling debris inside and around the building.
The engineers restricted entry to the main lobby and the whole second floor of the three-story structure.
They also asked the building administrator to put up barricades to prevent access to these areas.
They noted “many cases of severe corrosion,” although they did not specify which part of the building.
They recommended “detailed inspection of the structural steel cladding support,” referring to the flat steel slab that covers the outer structure.
Need to vacate
They also said the building maintenance should be upgraded.
Before the earthquake, the estimate to repair and rehabilitate the CICC was placed at P66 million.
“But with this earthquake damages, the repair would now cost more,” said Vice Governor Agnes Magpale in an interview.
The team proceeded to the legislative building. It recommended “checking the integrity of the building, particularly post-tensioned floors as reported by the provincial engineer.”
It said the integrity of the beams and floors on the second and third floors should also be checked.
It said barricades should be placed outside the vice governor’s office to prevent entry as the walls inside need to be replaced.
The legislative building houses the vice governor’s office on the fourth floor. The offices of the 15 legislators and federation offices are on the third floor, while offices of the Department of Agrarian Reform occupy the second and ground floor.
At the three-story Capitol building, the team recommended “a detailed structural evaluation (of plans) because of age and building extensions.”
It said the interface between old and new building extensions should be checked to ensure that it complies with the current National Structure Code of the Philippines (NSCP) 2010.
The team also restricted the use of the internal and pre-audit offices on the ground floor “until parapet is inspected and repaired.”
These offices are below the social hall.
The Provincial Attorney’s Office, which is also on the ground floor, has to be checked as the walls near it have cracks.
The Capitol building, which withstood World War II bombings, was built in 1937 during the administration of Gov. Sotero Cabahug. It was completed on June 14, 1938. Its inauguration was attended by then Commonwealth President Manuel Quezon.
Finally, the team inspected the interior and exterior of the three-story Baex building, which was built in 1930.
It recommended a detailed structural investigation so the structure complies with the NSCP 2010.
It noted the sagging third floor and the damaged parapet above the front entrance.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 20, 2013.