• Mines bureau to assess geohazard risks of 35 areas

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    The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) is set to carry out vulnerability and risk assessments of an initial 35 highly critical and priority areas nationwide next year.

    In a statement, MGB said that the assessment aims to determine in greater detail the geohazard risks of the areas and assess the response capabilities of the communities. Detailed subsurface assessment will also be included to determine the presence of sinkholes and subsurface hazards.

    For 2015, the MGB is putting forward a P1.461-billion budget proposal, 22 percent higher than this year’s budget.

    The agency is also seeking an additional budget of P431.313 million for its maintenance and other operating expenses and capital outlay to support the above activities, groundwater resources and vulnerability assessment, the National Small-Scale Mining Program, anti-illegal mining, and purchase of technical and scientific equipment.

    It is also set to embark on the intensive information, education and communication (IEC) campaigns in several barangays and the distribution of geohazard maps in all provinces, municipalities and barangays by 2015.

    With the expected completion of the 1:10,000 scale geohazard mapping of all Philippine municipalities and cities this year, MGB will focus on intensifying its IEC campaigns on 22,048 barangays or approximately 50 percent of the total 42,048 barangays across the country.

    The IEC aims to strengthen at the barangay level awareness on flooding and landslide risks by conducting consultations with the local officials and constituents on disaster preparedness and land use planning. Barangay and municipal officials, including community leaders, will be the targeted stakeholders in the consultative workshops.

    In these workshops, MGB will produce five copies of the 11,400 map sheets covering the entire country. The copies will be distributed to each province, city/municipality and barangay.

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