Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte

QUEZON CITY — The wealthiest city in the country is prepared if and when the so-called “The Big One”, or a 7.2 magnitude earthquake happens today. 

This has become evident as the local government of Quezon City on Tuesday (Nov. 14) made presentations of from risk to resilience, climate action and disaster risk management in  the workplace. 

During the” Quezon City Future of Work Conference 2023″, C40 Cities Climate Change Group executive director Mark Watts talked about the C40 is a network of 100 mayors from the biggest cities in the world that are focused on science-based inclusive climate action. 

Watts noted that the C40 aims to help get the world off from fossil fuels in order to stop climate breakdown. 

He stressed that 302 billion work hours have been lost due to extreme heat in 2019, which the C40 did not want to happen. 

The C40 is targeting to achieve less pollution and more jobs in green cities which will result to six times more good, green jobs. 

It is also aiming to have climate resilient buildings, transportation which turns to electric vehicles, and nature-based solutions to combat climate change.

It was highlighted that Quezon City has created 18,000 farmers in 754 urban farms in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

According to the C40, the time to invest in workforce is now. 

“The net zero is the future where there is zero carbon,” Watts said. 

He noted that Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte is looking for a good city that can be copied for Quezon City.

Atty. Agaceta explained the Earthquakes and Mega Cities Initiative (MCI) is armed with a study in 2022 in the impact of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Quezon City. 

“The study consisted of a high resolution map compared with the government map with a specific street level map,” Atty. Agaceta said. 

The 2022 Building Data or the latest information was used in the study.

Agaceta noted that Quezon City will suffer 12,000 deaths, 104,000 injured and 1.5 million people will be displaced and the building damage with 48 percent surface area will be impacted when a 7.2 magnitude strikes the city. 

Quezon City is pioneering in such kind of scientific studies on major disasters. 

However, there is no broad study on the damage to residences when major disasters happen. 

Quezon City residents are reminded that hanging paintings on the walls may even kill unprepared citizens in residential homes and they should continue to follow the existing contingency plans. 

The Disaster Management Institute is open for collaboration to help the business sector. 

Vice Admiral Patinio Pama (ret), former executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and current administrator of the Office of Civil Defense, said that “There are a lot of policies, a lot of regulations that have been done on disaster management and risk reduction. The danger now is the use of Artificial Intelligence.”

The climate change brings a lot of problems like Super Typhoon Yolanda. 

“A risk assessment has now become more imperative with winds that are only ignored with its probable impact in the environment,” Pama said.

He noted that risk assessment of areas varies from one place to another such that the risk assessment in Cubao, Quezon City differs from that of Tatalon, Quezon City. 

” These things should be made something doable, investments must be taken into consideration and not only to be memorized, which should be done with networking,” Pama stressed. 

Undersecretary Ariel F. Nepomuceno, OCD administrator, said that “It’s now whether or not there is climate change.”

“You are Micro Small and Medium Enterprises s but first you are corporate citizens. As private citizens, what hazards are we preparing for, especially natural disasters like typhoons or strong earthquakes,” Nepomuceno added. 

“What will you do if there is a super typhoon with a strong earthquake and a tsunami,” he said.

Nepomuceno noted that there has to be a contingency plan to be managed by a specific group.

“Drill, drill and drill. The key is massive practice to the point of paranoia,” he said. 

“You have to troubleshoot periodically in order to test if it’s still working,” he added. 

“Master to save your lives even to the point of being paranoid,” Nepomuceno said. – By Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr.