MGB-12 to conduct detailed geohazard mapping in 19 more towns

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/25 January)– The Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) is targeting to cover 19 more municipalities in Region 12 this year for its continuing detailed geohazard mapping program.

Constancio Paye Jr., MGB-12 director, said Friday the initial preparations and surveys are presently ongoing in the 19 municipalities that were identified for the mapping program, which is set at 1:10,000 scale.

He said the targeted municipalities are located in parts of Sultan Kudarat and North Cotabato provinces.

At the end of 2013, Paye said the agency has already completed and issued the detailed geohazard maps of 31 municipalities and cities in the region.

Region 12, which is also known as the Soccsksargen Region, is composed of 45 municipalities and five cities.

The region covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

“With the mapping of the 19 municipalities this year, we will be completing the program’s implementation in all 50 localities in the region,” Paye said in a radio interview.

The official said the initiative is part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to enhance the region’s preparedness and implementation of various mitigation measures against possible disasters that may occur in the area.

He said it aims to produce geohazard maps at more detailed or condensed scale covering disaster-prone areas.

Paye said the detailed geohazard maps will mainly serve as tools for local government units (LGU) to formulate their disaster management plans.

“The maps mainly identify in more detail the areas within a municipality or city that are highly prone to landslides and severe flooding. Through them, our LGUs will be able to set early their contingencies and strategies in addressing potential disasters in their areas,” he said.

Three years ago, the MGB-12 completed the region’s initial geohazard mapping program at a scale of 1:50,000.

Paye said all 50 LGUs in the region had been given copies of the 1:50,000 scale geohazard maps while the reproduction of the maps for those already covered by the detailed mapping are ongoing.

Last year, the mapping program covered a total of eight municipalities in North Cotabato, South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat.

Aside from the detailed geohazard mapping, MGB-12 will also conduct a groundwater assessment in four municipalities in South Cotabato.

The DENR had allocated around P354 million for the conduct of the detailed geohazard mapping in various disaster-prone areas in the country that is targeted for completion by yearend.

The agency said among the details that would be established through the three-year mapping program are parameters or features that may affect ground stability and the type of landslides that may possibly occur within the identified critical areas. (MindaNews)