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DENR Philippines broadens access to geohazard maps

Quezon, Philippines: Aside from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and (www.denr.gov.ph) and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) (www.mgb.gov.ph) websites, geohazard maps are also available at the websites of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) (www.pia.gov.ph), and Environmental Science for Social Change (www.essc.org.ph), according to a press report from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

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.

He 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 organisations for the hosting of the geohazard maps its agency has generated to broaden public access.

Meanwhile, 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.

MGB Director Leo 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.

Source: PIA