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.