GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF THE PHILIPPINES

 

The National Geohazards Mapping and Assessment Program

Dr. Elmer B. Billedo

Mines and Geosciences Bureau-Department of Environment and Natural Resources
North Avenue, Quezon City

Abstract

The Philippines, by virtue of its geographic and geologic setting is highly susceptible to natural hazards. Of the more recent geologic events that have caused enormous destruction to lives and property are the earthquake of Luzon on 16 July 1990, the eruption of Pinatubo Volcano in 1991, the landslides of Cherry Hills Subdivision, Antipolo City in 1999 and in Ginsaugon, Southern Leyte in 2006 and more recently the flooding due to typhoon Ondoy in 2009, Sendong in 2011 and Pablo in 2012. Such incidents have killed thousands of human lives and destroyed millions of dollars of property.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau-Department of Environment and Natural Resources (MGB-DENR) is currently the implementing the National GeohazardsMapping and Assessment Program. The program has been one of the priority program of the Government as stated by the President during his latest State of the Nation Address last July 2013. The primary aim of which is to reduce if not totally mitigate the negative impacts of natural hazards, particularly landslide, flooding and coastal-related hazards, on the populace.  The major activities of the program includes geohazard mapping at 1:50,000 scale and 1:10,000 scale, conduct of province- and municipal-wide information and education campaigns, provision of geohazard maps/information and issuance of advisories to LGUs  identified as prone to geohazards, identification of relocation sites/establishment of community-based early warning system.

The DENR-MGB has already completed the assessment and mapping of cities and municipalities nationwide at a scale of 1:50,000 in 2010 and are now accessible at the DENR and MGB websites. DENR-MGB is now fast-tracking its more detailed assessment at a scale of 1:10,000 for the whole which is targeted to be completed before end of 2015.

The MGB is actively supporting communities in their disaster risk preparedness and management plans through the provision of geohazard maps and related advisories and reports and the conduct of information and education campaigns. MGB is also at the forefront in the conduct of suitability assessment of possible relocation sites for communities that are identified as highly susceptible to geohazards. This activity is done in close coordination with the local government units and other government agencies as well as civic organizations.

 
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