A mapping project to be undertaken by the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA), an attached agency of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), is expected to result in government savings and effective and efficient governance for the Aquino government.

DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje said the unified mapping project of the NAMRIA can provide up-to-date geospatial information significant for the country’s social, economic and physical development.

“Around 80% of planning, decision-making and operations in the different government agencies are being influenced by locations. The government uses the geospatial data for legislation, policy development for the allocation and management of resources, conservation of natural resources, protection of the environment, land use management, agricultural production, urban planning, zoning and development, prevention of natural disasters, communications, transport, defense and public safety, among others,” Paje said.

Aside from NAMRIA, there are several government agencies that allocate funds to acquire aerial photography and satellite photography for their respective mapping projects. This practice, said Paje, results in the duplication of expenses and efforts, incompatibility of data and underutilization of map products.

“Under the unified mapping project, there will be pooling and sharing of the resources among different government agencies engaged in mapping activities. This will eliminate duplication of work, optimize the utilization of government funds and eliminate corruption, “ Paje said.

The DENR chief said that the project involves the updating of the 1:50,000 topographic map series for the entire country using high resolution satellite imagery. It also involves the implementation of a more detailed 1:10,000 mapping of 50% of the country’s entire land area.

“The more detailed and larger 1:10,000-scale map is useful for the production of a more detailed plan, and for projects that require more accurate data sets. It can also be used for cadastral applications,” Paje said.

Secretary Paje said the project is supported by the Cabinet and the purchase of images for the mapping will be made by the Department of Budget and Management.