One of the priority programs of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to help combat climate change is the National Geohazard Assessment and Mapping Program being implemented by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB). The program covers identification of areas vulnerable or susceptible to geological hazards such as flooding, landslide and ground subsidence (sinkhole) and information dissemination to various stakeholders aimed at increasing awareness and preparedness on the various natural hazards. Read More

The program has been an on-going project of MGB commenced in 2006 or after the landslide incident covered the entire municipality of Guinsaugun, Leyte province. Geologists were utilized to identify geohazard areas in the respective regions of the country. 

Initially, maps were generated at the scale of 1:50,000. It used color on areas identified as low, moderate or high susceptible to floods and landslides. Updating of the map was continuously done to include purok areas and other infrastructures in a high-resolution scale of 1:10,000 and emphasized areas that are highly vulnerable to landslide and flooding. The latest update was the production of a single map that shows both the landslide and flood prone map for easy viewing.

The program and these activities has become one of our major final output in our accomplishment. Geologists of the region used the administrative base maps, satellite imagery, anecdotal interviews to obtain historical data, measurements and observations on site manifestations like ground displacements, occurrences of shallow holes, coastal lithology and morphology, erosional processess among others as bases of the identification.

For 2016, MGB Regional Office No. XII is proud to announce the conduct of the following geohazard activities:

A. Vulnerability and Risk Assessment (VRA),

B. Detailed Sub-surface Assessment,

C. IEC’s to LGUs,

D. Coastal Geoshazard Assessment,

E. Quadrangle Geological Mapping and Surveys, and

F. Groundwater Resource Assessment.

A total of 7 municipalities and 1 city in SOCCSKSARGEN region were assessed for vulnerability and risk assessment and they are the following:

1. Norala, Banga, Surallah, Lake Sebu for Province of South Cotabato,

2. Carmen and Midsayap, North Cotabato,

3. Kidapawan City, North Cotabato, and

4. Lambayong, Sultan Kudarat.

Also part of the VRA activity of the region is the conduct of assessment in the municipalities of Sta. Rita, and Tanauan & Babatngon, Samar and Leyte provinces, respectively. The region has been assigned to undertake geohazard activities on the two (2) provinces in Visayas.

For the detailed sub-surface assessment, the region had conducted the activity at the municipality of Valencia, Bohol province to determine existence of subsurface structures and strata using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR).

Massive IEC was also conducted to a total of 843 barangays in Region XII covering 33 municipalities. Participants such as barangay chairpersons, barangay secretaries, barangay committee on disaster, MDRRMO, MENRO, MPDC, MSWDO, MEO, and the municipal mayor or his/her representative were taught how to interpret geohazard map for them to cascade information to the localities especially high risk communities on ways to avoid impending disaster and identify safe areas for evacuation using the geohazard maps developed by MGB XII.

Similarly, 296 barangays of the 14 municipalities in Region VIII or Eastern Visayas benefited the intensive IEC activity courtesy of Region XII. During the IEC, flyers, posters and DVDs were distributed to the participants to boost awareness of the local community on geohazards.

Aside from the mentioned activities, coastal geohazard assessment was also conducted.  Geologists and aides traversed the coastlines using handheld Global Positioning System (GPS) during low tide events to collect data on the rising sea level and be able to identify environmental changes such as erosion, accretion or sedimentation of shorelines and  areas vulnerable to erosion. Accomplished were three (3) coastal barangays of Kalanganan Proper, Kalanganan 1 and Kalanganan 2 of Cotabato City; coastal municipalities of Lebak, Kalamansig and Palimbang of Sultan Kudarat province and three (3) municipalities and two (2) cities located in the Province of Cebu particularly Compostela, Liloan and Consolacion and cities of Cebu and Mandaue. The region assumed the geohazard activities of other regions to fast track accomplishment of priority targets of the bureau.

Quadrangle geological mapping and survey was also undertaken by the region at Lebe and Kraan of the municipality of Maitum and Kiamba respectively. Groundwater resource assessment were similarly conducted in the municipalities of Banga, Surallah, Lake Sebu, T’boli, Sto. Niño, Norala, Tampakan, Tantangan, Polomolok, Tupi and City of Koronadal in the province of South Cotabato. Wells were assessed using the Hach Test Kit to determine the physical properties of the groundwater sources while georesistivity device was used to determine the presence of any subsurface groundwater aquifer in the area.

MGB XII also acted on the various requests received from the stakeholders such as:

A. conduct of geological site scoping of proposed housing projects;

B. geological investigation of landslide occurrences;

C. inspection and assessment of sanitary landfill; and

D. rock megascopic determination.

All these activities were undertaken by the untiring personnel of the geosciences division. Despite limited manpower, they have accomplished and attained the targets of the various geohazard activities in the region as well as in the priority areas of other regions.