PUBLIC Works Secretary Mark Villar has ordered an assessment of the structural integrity of all Chuzon Supermarket buildings in the wake of the collapse of the retailer’s four-story branch in Porac, Pampanga shortly after the magnitude 6.1 earthquake that struck Central Luzon and Metro Manila.
Villar inspected the collapsed Chuzon Supermarket in Barangay Cangatba in Porac Tuesday.
Five people were confirmed dead and about 60 others were injured when the building crumbled. Search and rescue operations were ongoing for more than 20 people listed as missing as of Tuesday afternoon.
Although a private establishment, Villar said they will check on the actual cause of the structural failure, especially that the building was built only four years ago.
“Medyo bago pa lang iyong structure. Ginawa iyan four years pa lang kaya talagang concern kami dahil bago pa lang ang structure, four years pa lang pero ganoon na ang nangyari,” said Villar.
(The structure is relatively new. It was built just four years ago. That’s why we are concerned.)
Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda expressed similar concern, adding that she had asked the provincial engineer to also make similar investigations and to check if the building had complied with all the necessary requirements for construction.
Villar said Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) personnel have started conducting forensic investigation on the samples taken from the collapsed Chuzon Supermarket.
“We will determine liability based dun sa magiging findings namin but for now, focused muna doon sa investigation para makakuha tayo ng actual results,” Villar added.
Villar also urged establishment owners, including private ones, to immediately report to the DPWH any untoward effects of the earthquake on their structures so the agency can provide assessment team.
“Lahat ng government offices mag-undergo ng assessment but we also urge even the private establishments to report to us para makapagpadala kami ng assessment team,” he said.
(All government offices will undergo assessment, but we also urge private establishments to report any damage so we could send an assessment team.)
Chuzon Supermarket is owned by businessman Samuel Chu. It has four branches in Pampanga (Sto Tomas, Apalit, Guagua, and Floridablanca), one in Gerona, Tarlac and one in Mariveles, Bataan.
In Guagua, the municipal engineer has temporarily suspended the operations of the Chuzon Supermarket branch there.
As of 11 a.m. Tuesday, eight people have been rescued from the Chuzon rubble in Porac town. The survivors have been brought to the nearby hospitals for treatment and trauma assessment.