Guide to Property Investments in Earthquake Prone Areas in the Philippines

The devastating event that occurred on May 31, 2013 has triggered thoughts regarding the link between earthquakes and property. Earthquakes are undoubtedly a priority, since there are already many buildings and condominiums built and are still being built. The Philippines is an earthquake-prone country and in saying that, one needs to take caution while trying to invest in realty.

It was during our grade school days when we all learned that the Philippines is a part of the Pacific Ring of fire where most of the earthquakes and volcanic eruptions in the world occur. But since  no real estate agents or land developers would publicize and discourage consumers from seizing land or obtaining property on an active earthquake fault line or within the vicinity of active volcano, buyers need to pay due diligence to do some research on the hazards of a property before considering it a wise investment or worth buying. Having this knowledge at the back of your mind, a lot of thoughts might be going through your head on how to invest in an earthquake-prone country like the Philippines. Below are some nuggets to keep in mind before investing in an earthquake-prone area.

  1. Know when there is a possibility of earthquake occurrences. If possible, study the country’s geography and know the major fault line locations in the Philippines.
  2. Take advantage of the Philippine flood hazards map. This website features a fault trace map which helps determine areas that are more at risk to natural disasters. The website converted the Phivolcs map of Active Faults and Trenches within the Philippines into a Google map; hence, it’s easier for anyone to visualize how further away a property is from a fault. Nababaha.com is a non-profit project by members of the Volcano-Tectonics Laboratory of the National Institute of geological Sciences, stationed at the University of Philippines.
  3. “How far away from the fault trace should a property be to assume it is safe?” Based on the active fault region, a property should be five meters afar. Take a look at the earthquake-prone areas of the Philippines.
  4. Examine carefully the structural style of the property and how it was engineered. Contemplate the strength and the genuineness of materials used, the structure and if possible, track the record of the developer. It is important to be keen on the property’s soundness in terms of structure, re-modify it if necessary.
  5. Make sure bolts are well-tight in the property to accommodate shock.
  6. Obtain information about the insurance of the property you are about to invest to spare you from any potential regrets, in case an unexpected happens.

earthquake-philippines

Keeping these things in mind helps investors make informed decisions. If you’re apprehensive of pouring investments into earthquake (or flood) prone areas in the Philippines, there is no reason why you should not try other investment channels.