MGB-8 inks MOA to expedite completion of geohazard surveys

image-03In a bid to strengthen its efforts in accomplishing its geohazard mapping and assessment program, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office VIII inked a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with large scale mining companies to avail the latter’s assistance in conducting geohazard surveys in some parts of the region.

The said MOA is considered instrumental in addressing the Bureau’s commitment to accomplish the 1:10,000 scale geohazards mapping and assessment of the entire country within the next two years in response to the increasing negative impacts of natural disasters. However, it has long been hindered in doing so due to lack of budget and technical personnel.

In the region, completion of the said mapping for the 21 built up areas apart from various requests from most LGUs over Eastern Visayas seemed to be a herculean task with just a lone geologist.

“We really need any help and support we can get to accomplish this huge task that is laid on our shoulders. The completion of the 1:10K geohazard mapping will definitely result to more “informed communities” regarding geohazard that will in turn protect lives and properties,” explained MGB-8 Regional Director Alilo Ensomo.

On the other hand, the Alliance of Responsible Miners of Region-8 (ARMOR-8), composed of mining tenement holders in Eastern Visayas,  has expressed full support to the said undertaking knowing fully well that they too are mandated by law to enhance public awareness on mining and geosciences.

“We believe this is a very significant undertaking which will benefit not only us but the whole industry as well, that’s why we are more than willing to work hand in hand with the Bureau to help them realize its geohazard program,” said Francis Arañes, ARMOR-8 President.

As stipulated in the MOA, companies are to carry out the implementation of geohazard mapping in the municipalities/cities/provinces where they operate. The undertaking will also be credited to the company’s Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) and Corporate Social Responsibility commitment.

RD Ensomo considers the undertaking a valuable partnership with the mining companies in which they are likewise able to extend their arm not only in promoting responsible mining but also in geohazard mapping endeavors.


MGB-8 extends IEC to BDRRM Geohazards Seminar Workshop

eastern samarIn a bid to strengthen its IEC efforts and answer the strong clamor for disaster preparedness, MGB-8 Supervising Geologist Ricardo Obtinalla participated and presented an Information, Education and Communication (IEC) paper presentation on Geohazard preaparedness during the 1st Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction Management Seminar-Workshop held on November 21 at Cansolabao,, Hinabangan, Samar.

The two-day activity spearheaded by the municipal government of Hinabangan through its Municipal Disaster Risk Management Office was attended by local officials from 7 barangays grouped under cluster II namely, Cansolabao, Concord, Tabay, Fatima, Cabang, San Rafael and Bagacay. It highlighted topics on anti-illegal logging measures, National Greening Project and disaster preparedness.

MDRRMO Tito Abaigar stated that said workshop was spurred by the conduct of the Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation in Ormoc City last  July25-27, this year.

“This is primarily aimed at giving insights to our constituents on what to do when a particular disaster happens,” Abaigar said.

Supervising Geologist Obtinalla stressed that in general, flat areas in Samar are flood-prone because of the presence of big rivers that normally overflow during heavy rainfall with or without typhoon.  According to him the conduct of such activity is really important to help the community understand their surroundings better and prepare themselves in times of disaster.

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“If the people know what to do at the onset or during a calamity, serious damage and fatalities can be avoided,” he emphasized.

Obtinalla emphasized the fact that Philippines is situated in the Pacific Ring of Fire (PRF) which makes it a disaster-prone country since 90% of <1500 of active volcanoes of the world are found in the PRF. He also added that the different geohazards in Region 8 include landslide, flood and flashflood, earthquake and earthquake hazards, coastal erosion, volcanic eruption and subsidence/carbonate sinkholes.

The 2010 MGB summary of the rapid geohazard mapping and assessment in Hinabangan, Samar revealed that 3 barangays have high landslide susceptibility, 13 moderate, 3 low and 2 no landslide susceptibility. While for flood, 8 have high susceptibility, 3 moderate, 1 low and 9 no flood susceptibility.

As stated in Republic Act 10121, it is hoped that this activity will likewise enable local officials to take an active lead in creating “informed communities” by knowing foremost how geologically dynamic their areas are and  its  vulnerability to possible geoahazards.


In pursuit to sustainable development and responsible mining in Eastern Visayas

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image-06The creation of the Alliance of Responsible Miners of Region 8 (ARMOR-8) has been making waves since its inception last April .

While the mining industry in the region has been the object of criticism by anti-mining groups, the birth of ARMOR-8 has earned the appreciation and support of all those who particularly feel the need to organize one solid group that will at least help restore people’s faith in mining.
ARMOR-8, the brainchild of MGB Regional Director Roger de Dios is but one bold step to achieving the pursuit to the great clamor for responsible mining in Eastern Visayas.

It is a fact that the mining industry faces the most challenges in the industrial sector and that it is often misunderstood because of the negative impacts of mining to the environment and host communities. Unfortunately, this has been the stigma of the mining industry, spurred by the mistakes of the past andanti-mining sentiments from varied groups such as the NGOs, church, academe, LGUs and media.

“I believe it’s high time that the mining companies collectively join forces in taking our stand to promote a strong mining industry in the region,” says RD de Dios. As originally planned the organization of ARMOR-8 was intended to support MGB-8’s IEC campaign in advocating responsible mining in the region. A Memorandum of Understanding entered into by MGB-8 RD Roger de Dios and ARMOR-8 President highlighted the launching activity last August 10, .

Finding strength in unity, the group seeks not just to strengthen the mining industry but to advocate responsible mining and foster sustainable development to host and neighboring communities. It will be done through extensive Information Education and Communication (IEC) program, partnership and networking, capacity building and lobbying. Just recently, on August 14, the group entered into an agreement with the Media Alliance for Responsible Mining in Eastern Visayas to further intensify its IEC.

Over time, the group hopes to rightfully serve its purpose – the region’s protection against illegal miners. ARMOR-8 will be a prime mover in advocating not only the disadvantages of illegal mining but also in educating the public and its stakeholders the importance of environmental protection and community development. The group believes in the importance of responsible and sustainable mining as the key for revitalization of the mining industry in the country.


ARMOR-8 develops its dedication for responsible mining under the following principles which include safety, environmental gears, transparency and accountability, social equity and sustainable development as bases for the establishment of responsible mining in the region. Hence, ARMOR-8 promotes sustainable development in the implementation of SDMP, not just as compliance but as part of their social responsibility.

With its certificate of incorporation approved last June 8, by the SEC, one of the organization’s programs is to institute and implement scholarships for deserving students and employees’ dependents in the host communities where their mining companies operate.


Time being, ARMOR-8 President Vicente Lao advocated the implementation of the Community Livelihood and Mining Program (CLAMP), the idea of allowing small scale miners within a portion of their approved tenement areas as livelihood but under the supervision of large-scale mining operators.

The group also stressed the importance of establishing pocket forests within their respective mining claims. A flagship project which aims to create success stories and showcase tangible evidence that will inevitably prove that mining and environmental protection can coexist.

Over and beyond, ARMOR-8 is nothing short of a perfect shield for responsible mining advocates as it also intends to provide something better: a sense of place, an appreciation of the mining industry, sustainable development and a hope for the future.


MGB-8 tops mural contest geared towards protecting the environment

2The Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. 08 garnered the 1st place award in the recently concluded mural painting contest organized by the Cleanaway Philippines Inc., in coordination with the Environmental Management Bureau RO-8 and Pollution Control Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PCAPI)-8.

The activity was formally launched during the world-wide Earth Day celebration on April 22, 2013. It is primarily aimed at encouraging local artists in Eastern Visayas to manifest the need for a progressive, clean and healthy environment in a creative yet meaningful manner. The contest was aptly themed  “Ensuring the progress and well-being of Leyteños through proper waste management.”

MGB-8’s entry emphasized that success in all of our human endeavors primarily lies within us. It illustrated that progress is never a far-fetched idea if everyone would take into account the importance of working together in protecting the environment on top of the technological advances that human beings enjoy.

Mr. Richard Loso of MGB-8 stated that his concept projected a more progressive Leyteño working hand in hand towards well-being and progress through proper implementation of waste management.

“Proper waste management is but one bold step in attaining a progressive and healthy environment,” he said.

Likewise, MGB-8 Regional Director Alilo Ensomo is elated with the said achievement and expressed full support and coordination to such undertakings.

“This is a very meaningful and productive endeavor. We take pride that our agency is able to manifest our deepest concern for the environment as we share in the advocacy to protect it in ways possible,” he stressed.

MGB-8 bested three (3) other participating groups that include Leyte Normal University, Eastern Visayas State University and GYC Artists. The contest was organized at the retaining wall of CPI’s landfill in Isabel, Leyte. Awarding ceremony was held at Oriental Hotel on May .


Highly mineralized lands like Tampakan best left to mining — geologist

image-09MANILA, Philippines – The Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) on Monday agreed to revise several sections of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the government’s mining policy. This comes after the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines threatened to file a case against the government over Section 9 of the IRR which it described as “patently illegal.” Read more…

Philex Mining Corporation seals leak but operations remain suspended
BAGUIO CITY, Oct 8 (PIA) — Even as the Philex Mining Corporation in Padcal, Itogon, Benguet has already stopped the sediment flow from the damaged Tailings Pond 3, operations remain suspended and the company is facing another fine and the possible suspension or cancellation of its environmental compliance certificate (ECC). Last week, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) reported to the Sangguniang Bayan of Itogon that the Philex Mines has already sealed the damaged portions of the Tailings Pond 3 that leaked sediments since August 1. But the suspension of operations remain, according to Felizardo Gacad Jr. MGB-CAR Mine Safety and Environment Division chief engineer.


Mineral industry lauds 34 news metallurgical engineers

image-02The Philippine minerals industry welcomes the 34 newly registered Metallurgical Engineers who passed the recent Metallurgical Engineering Board examination given on August 25-27 by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).  The examination was held at the PRC offices in Manila and Davao.   A total of 45 examinees took the examination.

The three-day examination was carried out using the Walk-in Examination System (WES) which is a user-friendly, desktop, windows and competency-based computerized testing system. This was supervised by the Board of Metallurgical Engineering headed by Engr. Agustin M. Fudolig and Engr. Juancho Pablo S. Calvez, Chairman and Member, respectively.

The results were announced by the PRC on August 28, a day after the last day of the examination. The top ten examinees are the following:

The oath-taking ceremony for the new Metallurgical Engineers took place before the Board on September 7, 2012 at 6 p.m. at Club Filipino, Greenhills, San Juan, Metro Manila.  Another oath-taking ceremony took place on September 15,  at 6 p.m. at Mallberry Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City to accommodate the passers from the Mindanao area.




Date: November 23

1. The Government of the Philippines (GOP) has applied for a Loan from the World Bank
toward the cost of the Abandoned-“ltuctr’ve’CIosed Mines Rehtxbflitanbn Project, and it intends
to qiply part of the proceeds of this loan to payments under the contract for the Construction of
Diversion Channel Pipeline (Laying of 100 mm Dtwneter Water Supply Pipe from Spring to the
Two (2) Concreter Water Storage Tanks In Western Samar). Contract No.A.1CMRP-01.

2. The Department of Envtronment and Natural Resources Mmes and Geoscientific
Bureau Centml Ofiice now invites bids for the Cfonrtntctton of Diversion Channel/Ptpelme.
Completion of the Works is required by 180 days. Bidders should have completed, within two
description of an eligible bidder is contained in the Bidding Documents, particularly, in Section
11. Instruction to Bidders.

3. Bidding wiubeconduetedthmughopencompetiuvebiddkigpmcedmesasspecifiedin
the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 9184 (RA 9184),
otherwise lmown as the Government Procurement Reform Act. Subject to exceptions stated in
this Bidding Documents. only Bids from Bidders who pus an eligibility check will be opened.
The Bidder with the Lowest Calculated Bid (LCB) shall advance to the post-qualification stage
in order to finally determine its responsiveness to the technical and financial requirements of
the project. The contract shall then be awarded to the Lowest Calculated Responsive Bidder
( LC RB) who has determined as such during post-qualificaion.

4 The documents required in the Eligrhility Documents shall be wbmitted as part of the
Technical Documents of the Bidders as provided in the Instructions to Bidders.

5. Interested eligible Bidders may obtain fitrther information from the Bids and Awards
Committee and inspect the Bidding Documents at the address given below from 9:00 am to
4:00 pm. Mondays to Fridays.


1st Eastern Samar Small-scale Mining Summit

image-08Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Director Roger A. De Dios (center) discussed the importance of close coordination between the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Department of Interior and Local Government on collecting mining taxes and fees in the Province of Eastern Samar during a mining stakeholders’ forum conducted in Brgy. Lupok, Guiuan, Eastern Samar on July 19.

District Revenue Officer Josephine B. Catamco of BIR and Atty. Christopher R. Coles (seated right) Provincial Legal Officer of Eastern Samar attended the activity with representatives from the Local Government Units, Provincial Police Office – Eastern Samar, Small-scale Mining and Quarry Operators and members of the Alliance of Responsible Miners of Region-8 (ARMOR-8).


MGB-08 Investigate Collapse Riprap Segment of Tigbao River, Tacloban City

image-01MGB-8 investigation disclosed that previous earthquakes, intense flooding and continuous rains have largely contributed to the eventual collapse of the riprap segment of Tigbao River along SOS Children’s Village in Brgy. Tigbao, Tacloban City.

The report further disclosed that the said riprap segment collapsed at around ten o’clock in the morning of November 11,due to continuous rains and strong river current at that time. Prior to the incident residents have already notice the presence of tension cracks along the river bank right after a strong earthquake hit Eastern Visayas on August 31.

In addition, the Tigbao River was also noted to have overflowed last October 25 with the approximate 1 meter floodwaters brought about by “Typhoon Ofel”.

Ricardo H. Obtinalla, Jr. – Supervising Geologist of MGB-8, advised evacuation of the residents of nearby houses during inclement weather conditions or continuous raining meantime that the riprap is not yet repaired. It was also then recommended that use of sandbags and other engineering measures be taken to serve as temporary river protection on the damaged/collapsed segment of the riprap.

Repair/rehabilitation of the collapsed riprap segment as well as the other identified unstable segment inorder to stabilize the river bank, prevent damages to the houses located near the unstable area and avert damage to the unaffected segment of the riprap is deemed necessary according to Mr. Obtinalla.


MGB-8 Geoscience Division team during its geohazard survey and assessment in Victoria, Northern Samar

1(1)As one of its banner programs, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office VIII is gearing up for the immediate completion of its geohazard survey and assessment this year. This is to promptly address the growing clamor from various local government units apart from the targets set forth by the Office. Regional Director Alilo Ensomo stressed that MGB will exhaust all efforts to successfully complete the said undertaking despite the massive exodus of geologists and technical personnel that the Office is experiencing at the moment.

MGB-8 Geohazard Mapping and Assessment Team (GMAT) during its in Libagon, Southern, Leyte

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Regional Office has recently completed its 1:10,000 scale geohazard mapping and assessment in the municipality of Libagon, Southern, Leyte. The said municipality is one of the 16 municipalities in the region that the Office has committed to undertake within the year in line with the government’s thrust to reduce if not, totally mitigate the destructive effects and impacts of natural hazards. It is also a follow-up undertaking to the 1:50,000 scale geohazards mapping conducted by MGB Central and Regional Offices in 2006.