Geohazard maps are now accessible and downloadable from four government websites, including that of a non-government organization, it was announced by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
The government websites hosting the interactive geohazard maps include that of the DENR (www.denr.gov.ph), Mines and Geosciences Bureau (www.mgb.gov.ph), Philippine Information Agency (www.pia.gov.ph) and that of Environmental Science for Social Change (www.essc.org.ph).
DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje said the move is to broaden public access to the geohazard maps, which has become an important tool in disaster risk reduction and management.
Paje said that with the identification of the Philippines as among those highly vulnerable to the impact of climate change, Filipinos should brace for typhoons with greater intensity in terms of wind speed and rainfall that could trigger flooding and landslides.
“We don’t want to be alarmist, but as the saying goes, ‘mas maigi na ang maagap’. With climate change, we have to accept the fact that some of the typhoons that would be visiting us would have greater intensity that could trigger flooding and landslides,” Paje explained.
He urged the public to be proactive in taking precautionary measures to minimize, if not prevent, any adverse impact of calamities not only in one’s family and community but on the country as a whole.
As part of the government’s risk reduction and management program, the DENR has been negotiating with various entities and organizations for the hosting of the geohazard maps his agency has generated to broaden public access.
The latest of such successful negotiations, said Paje, was with the Environmental Science for Social Change (ESSC), a non-profit research organization located at the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City, which has already put up an online facility for the geohazard maps in its website pursuant to a memorandum of agreement recently entered into between ESSC Executive Director Sylvia SM Miclat and Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Director Leo Jasareno.
Under the agreement, the DENR through the MGB would provide ESSC with digital copies in their best resolution of the 700 geohazard maps at a scale 1:50,000, and of the updated ones at scale of 1:10,000 once these become available by 2014.
“Make time to visit their website, www.essc.org.ph. The geohazard maps are not only interactive but are also downloadable,” Paje said.
Meanwhile, MGB Director Jasareno said that the densification of the geohazard maps at a scale of 1:10,000 is now in full swing, and is expected to completed in 2014.
Alongside, the MGB is also conducting coastal and marine geohazard survey to determine the approximate rates of shoreline changes through time due to coastal erosion or accretion, and to identify potential marine and coastal geohazards and the appropriate measures to prevent massive impact.
Jasareno said the agency has already completed the nationwide geohazard assessment and mapping program at a scale of 1:50,000 two years ago, covering a total of 1,634 cities and municipalities.
He also said that all LGUs have already furnished copies of their respective geohazard maps and have been properly oriented on the use of the maps.
- Published: 24 May 2012