Residential Structures Collapse in Barangay Mapulang Lupa, Valenzuela City

Around 9:00 AM on Sunday, September 3, 2023, eight (8) residential structures collapsed in S. Feliciano Street, Barangay Mapulang Lupa and Ugong, creating a dire situation that necessitates immediate attention and action. The collapse occurred along the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) transmission lines and has been attributed to the saturated soil which was caused by the continuous heavy rainfall over the past few days, causing a build-up of earth and water pressure, ultimately leading to the structural collapse.

The affected area, situated in Brgy. Ugong, is registered under the ownership of Mr. Anson Tan, who holds a business permit as a lessor. The incident has had a profound impact, resulting in the collapse of 8 residential structures, affecting 17 families and 70 individuals in Brgy. Mapulang Lupa, and 11 families and 43 individuals in Brgy. Ugong. A total of 28 families comprising 113 individuals have been evacuated from the affected area. The affected families were evacuated to 3S Center Mapulang Lupa, while families from Brgy. Ugong were evacuated to the old Ugong Barangay Hall.

Unfortunately, the incident has led to the loss of life. Mr. Reynaldo Medino Maraya, aged 65, residing at 2062 Feliciano St., Brgy. Mapulang Lupa, sustained severe injuries
during the collapse, including a left Femur fracture, abrasions on the left eyebrow and knee. He was initially admitted to Valenzuela Medical Center and later transferred to the Philippine Orthopedic Hospital, where he succumbed to a rib fracture early Monday morning.

Mayor WES Wes Gatchalian, in coordination with Mapulang Lupa Punong Barangay Atoy Natividad and City Social Welfare and Development Office Chief of Operations Ms. Dorothy Evangelista, has conducted an assessment of the damage at the affected area. The Office of the Building Official (OBO) recommends the relocation of residents within the defined boundary at the site. Furthermore, it is recommended to relocate the entire occupants residing under the NGCP lines.

The following course of action has been determined based on the assessment and recommendations of OBO, CSWDO, and other concerned offices:
● Immediate Assistance: City Social Welfare and Development Office personnel, in cooperation with the Valenzuela City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office and the City Engineering Office, are actively assisting and assessing the evacuees. Disaster and hygiene kits were also distributed to the families.
● Safety Measures: Police and barangay assistance are on-site to prevent people from entering the danger area.
● Census and Survey: On September 4, the census, mapping, and survey will resume for expanded areas (within the 33 to 35 parameters) identified as high risk.
● Clearing Operation: A clearing operation will be conducted to remove remnants of the collapsed structures, further preventing occupants from returning to the area.
● Financial Assistance: The City Government of Valenzuela will provide financial assistance of PhP 10,000 to each of the 28 families identified as renters or sharers. Additionally, the identified and verified house owners will be relocated to DV Lingunan once units have been cleaned and equipped with basic utilities.
● Engineering Solutions: Measures will be taken to stabilize the ground, preventing further erosion.
● Hospitalization and Burial Assistance: The City Government of Valenzuela will cover the hospitalization fees of the injured individuals, and shall provide burial assistance to the family of the casualty.
● NGCP Assistance: Mayor WES has requested NGCP to provide assistance to the affected families. Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWS) also extended assistance to the victims by distributing hygiene kits, sleeping kits, kitchen kits, and DSWD food boxes. Grocery bags with 5 kilograms of rice were also provided by the Office of the First Congressional District. Office of Senator WIN Gatchalian is also expected to extend assistance to the victims.

The City of Valenzuela is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of the Pamilyang Valenuelano affected by this unfortunate incident, and shall continue to create measures to prevent these kinds of incidents from happening again.

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