THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) declared some 60 buildings around Metro Manila as “unsafe”.

The announcement came even as the agency’s head Victor Domingo said the structures, some of them school buildings, have been placed under “urgent detailed evaluation” or those that had been demolished or retrofitted.

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“Of the 60 buildings, 20 had been demolished and replaced, 20 others had been retrofitted, while demolition or retrofitting is underway for the remaining 20,” said Secretary Domingo.

Among the infrastructures identified by DPWH were the Dona Maxima Blas and Rodriguez buildings, both in Malabon City; MCF building in Marikina City; C. Bautista and Rodriguez buildings in Navotas; MSA and Canumay West in Valenzuela City, etc.

The school buildings that can't reportedly withstand a strong earthquake are as follows: Andres Bonifacio Integrated School, Mandaluyong City; Araullo High School, Manila; Navotas Polytechnic College; Kalayaan High School main building, Pasay City, among others.

“Based on our recent building inspection, major cracks were visible on their wall partitions, beams, girders and floor slabs. There were also presence of torsion, vertical and plan irregularities,” said DPWH National Building Code Development Office executive director Emmanuel Cuntapay.

DPWH said these structures are vulnerable to tremors since most of them were constructed in the 90's and below when they were not designed for seismic loading.

Domingo meanwhile reported that 33 bridges have been retrofitted. These are: Jones, Mac Arthur, Nagtahan, MNDR, Del Pilar bridges, Bonifacio East and West overpass, all in Manila; Marcos and Ortigas bridges and EDSA-Kamias, EDSA-Santolan flyovers in Quezon City are among those that had gone repair.

Seismic loading is one of the basic concepts of earthquake engineering while retrofitting is the strengthening of the bridges' foundation by driving additional piles and reinforcing its columns.

Earlier, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) warned that Metro Manila might be struck with a 7.0 magnitude earthquake, which could damage 38 percent of residential buildings, 38 percent of buildings between 10 and 30 stories, and 30 to 35 percent of all public buildings. (FP/Sunnex)