CLARK FREEPORT -- Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary Renato Solidum said that Clark will play a vital role in the recovery of the country if Metro Manila is hit by a strong quake.
During the forum of the Capampangan in Media Incoporated (CAMI) here Friday, June 2, Solidum, who is also concurrent director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), said that Clark will serve as an emergency operations center.
“Yun yung sina-suggest ko na magiging emergency operations center ng government ang Clark airport,” Solidum said.
The official also underscored the need to decongest Metro Manila in terms of governance and business.
“National organizations are in Manila so whether they put up another office, at least there must be a secondary office that can absorb several of the functions of the national organization. Redundancy not only the electronic data but also the physical presence,” Solidum said.
“Nakita ko naman by looking at things, Clark and Subic will be very, very crucial hindi lang sa side ng North Luzon but of course at the national point of view dapat to reduce the possible big impact of an earthquake or other major disasters sa ating economy at governance dapat maka-position na kayo,” he added.
Solidum said that businesses in Metro Manila and other parts of the country are eyeing Clark as an alternative site for expansion.
“Maraming companies na parang ang offsite ay dito sa Clark, hindi lang nila sinasabi. Kasi po nung nag release kami ng scenario sa Manila, scientific naman and it happens, so naghahanap sila ng offsites,” Solidum said.
Based on analysis, casualties in Metro Manila will reach 34,000 if the West Valley Fault produces a 7.2 magnitude earthquake, according to Solidum.
Government disaster preparation is still being improve, according to Solidum.
“No one should say that government alone can do everything. That is why the business sector is a very vital partner in making Metro Manila and surrounding provinces more resilient to disaster,” he said.
There should be a policy to maximize the development and utilization of Clark, Solidum said.
He cited problems in Metro Manila, which include vehicular traffic congestion, waste of gasoline or power, time lost by employees and potential risk to disaster.