Geohazard Map Ready in 2009; as a Tool to Avoid Costly Damage and for Land Acquisition Planning

Article excerpt

Byline: Mars W. Mosqueda Jr.

CEBU CITY -- Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Jose Atienza Jr. said the country's geohazard map will be available in two years as the National Geohazard Mapping and Assessment Program has already covered 874 municipalities.

Atienza, who keynoted the eight-day Coordinating Committee for Geosciences Programs in East and Southeast Asia (CCOP) at the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel on Monday, said the DENR has covered 68 percent of the geohazard map.

He said additional P250 million is needed to complete the project in two years.

"We are rushing the completion of the map because we know its importance and we need the fund to move it forward a little bit," said Atienza.

The DENR has already identified a total of 1,300 municipalities as its priority sites for geohazard mapping with 874 already covered as of September with 662 towns fully assessed.

The project was implemented to forestall damage from landslides, earthquakes and other natural disasters. The urgency to finish the maps had been realized after the landslide in Guinsaugon village in Southern Leyte in February last year.

The geohazard mapping aims to gather information on the vulnerability of certain areas to various types of geologic and natural hazards and make this basic information available to authorities responsible for physical framework and land use planning, land use classification and allocation by local government units, project development and disaster preparedness, management, and mitigation. …