Issue of June 23, 2019
Mt. Province

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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Intensity 8

In keeping with our beloved melting pot of vanishing sidewalks and endangered Ibaloys’ creative city status, my naughty poetic twin Gabriel Baban Keith will once again start this week’s column with his poem, “Independence Day, 2019.” Here goes: “In our heart of/hearts/can we honestly/claim/ that our/country’s truly/free/when most of our/countrymen/after more than a/century are/still/shackled and/trapped/in the dungeons/of/ ignorance and/poverty/

In our heart of/ Hearts/ Can we sincerely/ Say/ That our beloved/ Country’s/ Free/ When most of its honorable/ and distinguished/rulers/belong to a political/dynasty/In our heart of/hearts/can we proudly/shout/that our beloved/ country’s/free/when the rich and/powerful/receive more/justice/and/protection/than the poor/and/powerless/If we ask our heart/of hearts/does it proudly/say/that we/as a nation/and/people/are truly/free?”

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This near-sighted Ibaloy writer is happy and titillated to learn that builders and owners of public and private buildings in the Summer Capital have been requested by City Buildings and Architects Office head Nazita Bañez to upgrade the earthquake resistance standard of their structures to as high as intensity eight to ensure their soundness and safety.

In a news report, Bañez said that while the National Structural Code of the Philippines still requires designs to withstand intensity 6.5 earthquakes while private engineers use the intensity 7.2 benchmark, the CBAO encourages everyone to still go beyond these levels for maximum safety.

She said the structural resiliency of the city’s buildings depends on whether these were built according to approved standards set in the building permits. Engr. Bañez emphasized that when structures have been issued building permits, their integrity is assured provided that the building specifications are strictly followed.

She also clarified, in the news article, that it is the building’s integrity, not its height that determines its resiliency against earthquakes.

It was also learned from City Planning and Development Office head Evelyn Cayat that Baguio’s susceptibility to earthquakes has been integrated in the city’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan where all hazardous areas were declared as no-build zones and areas with higher slopes were declared as low density zones.

As one old enough to have lived through the devastation and havoc caused by the July 16, 1990 intensity 7.7 (if I’m not mistaken) earthquake to our beloved city, I support and commend these moves that intend to ensure the safety and security of residents and visitors. Since we are all stakeholders when it comes to our safety, support and cooperation are needed for these policies to succeed. Cheers!

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FYI: June is declared as Philippine Environment Month by virtue of Presidential Proclamation 237 signed in 1998 by then Pres. Corazon C. Aquino. This year’s theme is “Go wild for life, combat biodiversity loss.”

June is also observed as National No Smoking Month as per Proclamation 183, s. 1993. Make everyday a yosi breakup day. Let’s go sa pinakamasayang break-up! #YosiBreakUpGoals.

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We’re on air Wednesdays, 8 a.m., over K-Lite 96.7 FM, with Fiona Quinn and every last Tuesday of the month at 3 p.m. for “City Hall Hour” over SkyCable, DZEQ Radyo Pilipinas and Big FM. It’s more fun and cooler in this city of vanishing sidewalks and endangered Ibaloys!

May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to bless and keep us all safe.

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