The City Council of Manila passed on third and final reading an ordinance imposing “pre-emptive or forced evacuations” in the event of disasters or calamities in the city.
The measure makes mandatory the evacuation of residents in “high-risk” areas within Manila, upon order of the City Mayor based on the recommendation of the Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. It allows authorities to use such force as may be reasonable for the purpose, with due regard to “the needs of the vulnerable and marginalized sector such as children, women, the elderly, and persons with disability”.
Anyone found guilty of defying a mandatory evacuation order shall be penalized with a fine of between ₱2,000 and ₱5,000 and/or imprisonment of not more than one-year.
“The ordinance serves to complement Republic Act 10121 (the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010), which provides for a multi-sectoral, inter-agency, and community-based approach to disaster risk management”, said Second District Councilor Darwin “Awi” Sia, author of the Ordinance, on the sidelines of the regular session held last 30th day of January 2024.
For his part, co-author Macario “Macky” Lacson, likewise of the Second District, explained that the measure was in harmony with the Local Government Code’s General Welfare Clause, and had been passed pursuant to DILG Memorandum Circular 2012-35 dated 21 February 2012, enjoining all local governments to enact ordinances that would implement forced evacuations in emergency situations, where loss of lives was imminent.