DENR to Get 1.9M for Geohazard Maps in Bicol - BM

THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will receive a P1.9-million fund from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for the production of geohazard maps covering the Bicol region.

The additional funding from the DSWD is intended for the production and reproduction of geohazard maps with scales of 1:50,000 and 1:10,000 for distribution to local government units in the selected provinces and towns in the region.

Enviroment Secretary Horacio Ramos and DSWD Acting Secretary Celia Capadocia-Yangco said the memorandum of agreement recently signed by the DENR and the DSWD for the project is in line with the “Bicol Recovery Project” which is being supported by the United Nations Development Program.

The DENR, through its Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), is also providing some P1.6 million as counterpart fund for the project. 

The MGB is the lead agency for the nationwide Geohazard Mapping and Assessment Program, which covers the production of geohazard maps for 840 priority municipalities at a ratio of 1:250,000 scale.

The DENR is providing the technical expertise in drawing the maps which will be very detailed. 

“The geohazard maps will be distributed to barangays, the lowest level of governance, so that the communities living in these vulnerable areas will be able to manage and cope with the impacts of natural disasters,” Yangco said.

Ramos said that while natural calamities such as typhoons and floods could not be prevented, their adverse impacts on people’s lives and properties can still be minimized with proper preparation and information.

Under the agreement, the DENR, through the MGB, will produce geohazard maps with a scale of 1:10,000 for Bicol’s three key cities: Legazpi, Iriga and Sorsogon. 

Geohazard maps with a scale of 1:50,000 will also be produced to cover nine municipalities in the provinces of Sorsogon, Albay and Catanduanes: Pilar and Donsol in Sorsogon; Camalig and Guinobatan in Albay; and Pandan, Caramoran, San Andres, Virac and Bato in  Catanduanes. Said areas have earlier been mapped by the DENR.

geohazard map The production and distribution of the large-scale maps are expected to be completed within 12 months, Ramos said.

Ramos underscored the importance of knowing how to read the geohazard maps, saying that the capacities of barangay and municipal officers to understand and use geohazard maps for disaster preparedness are greatly enhanced with a geohazard map that shows with relative accuracy ground areas, rivers, lakes, roads and distances between features.

Beside map production, the agreement also calls for the DENR to conduct information, education and communication (IEC) campaign and capacity-building activities for municipal and barangay officials, including other members of disaster coordinating councils of concerned local government units on disaster preparedness and risk reduction.

Source: Business Mirror - 03 June 2010