We at AGHAM – Advocates of Science and Technology for the People express concern on the integrity of public infrastructure projects following the damage of Clark International Airport and other public facilities after an earthquake hit Luzon last Monday.

The earthquake caused cracks and broken panels on the airport’s terminal structure and facilities, causing injuries to 7 individuals. Some public roads and bridges in Region 3 and one in Manila were also left unpassable after the quake.

The damages incurred by the Clark International Airport and some public roads after yesterday’s 6.1-magnitude earthquake should make us concerned with the structural integrity of public infrastructure considering the vulnerability of the country to such hazardous events.

Standards set by national law states that buildings should withstand high intensity earthquakes. According to PhiVolcs, this means an earthquake with a magnitude of 8-9 on the Richter Scale. The 6.1-magnitude earthquake Luzon experienced, despite being a strong earthquake, should not have caused damage to infrastructure that followed the Structural Code.

We also express concern on the integrity of other public infrastructure projects, both operational and those pending construction. How can we be sure that public facilities are structurally sound to resist more damaging earthquakes? The government should put top priority to ensuring the safety of public infrastructure projects especially those that concern public utilities such as transportation.#


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