Formulation of a Risk Probability Rating System for Geohazard and Environmental Risk Assessment

Katherine Hipol-Gavile*, Allan Mandanas, Malvin Kenneth Manueli,
Anthony Theodore Cubeta, Edna Patricia Mendoza

*Associate -Environment/ Geologist, AECOM, Taguig City


The environmental impact assessment (EIA) process in the Philippines has seen a marked advancement over the years in terms of geohazards identification and characterization, in parallel with developments in the local geosciences. However, one key aspect that has not been given emphasis is the determination of the frequency and likelihood of occurrence of identified geohazards for site-specific impact and environmental risk assessments. Often times, discussions on geohazard frequency and probability within the environmental impact statement (EIS) are subjective and undervalued. This may be due to the absence of officially established geohazard frequency and probability rating schemes comparable to those formulated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS), in the Philippines.With current developments in the country’s EIA systemin the form of more stringent regulatory requirements and the integration of climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR) measures, a need arises to formulate and adopt a similar rating system vital in aiding proponents, preparers and policy makers in the 1) formulation of site-specific geohazard assessments; 2) proposal of applicable control measures with pre-mitigation frequency and probability factored in; 3) prioritization of specific geohazards in engineering design and controls; 4) development of applicable hazard scenarios to quantify asset loss during occurrence; 5) promotion of inter-agency (DENR-EMB, DENR-MGB, PHIVOLCS and PAGASA) cooperation in formulating a local hazard rating scheme; and 6) communication of frequency and probability assessments to stakeholders and policy makers to foster engagement and participation in emergency response and disaster preparedness.

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