Iloilo City – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy A. Cimatu issued a memorandum that urgently advises the use of geohazard maps of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in efforts to prevent or minimize the dangers of landslide and flooding caused by excessive rainfall during typhoons.
It was issued on January 7, 2019 in the light of landslide events that happened in Itogon, Benguet, Naga City in Cebu and late last year, in Sagñay, Camarines Sur and Tiwi in Albay Province.
Typhoons and low pressure areas occurring in the country bring excessive rainfall which triggers landslides and flooding to happen in highly-susceptible areas as identified in the MGB geohazard maps.
The DENR memorandum further cites the strong need for the field offices and officials to revisit and familiarize themselves with the MGB geohazard maps as these points the areas where landslides and flooding are highly at-risk for landslides and flooding, thus, serve as guide in the kind and degree of intervention needed to prevent the loss of lives in the face of weather disturbances.
The DENR Secretary further directed all offices, field officials and employees to strictly comply with the following actions:
Have a copy of the most recently released and updated Geohazard Map of the MGB conspicuously displayed in the respective advisory bulletin boards;
- Be acquainted with the location of landslide and flood prone areas in their areas of responsibility, as identified/provided in the Geohazard Map;
- Establish an open line of communication and strong coordination with the local officials concerned. Local offices should be properly briefed in the possible danger of landslide and flooding in their respective areas;
- Validate on the ground and clearly reflect in the respective Geohazard Maps the built-up areas or communities threatened by flooding and landslide and have these properly and officially communicated with the local officials concerned;
- Familiarize the danger signs (color coded in the MGB Geohazard Map;
- Familiarize the rainfall warning signal regularly being released by DOST-PAG-ASA.
Field officials were further instructed to be physically present in their respective areas of responsibility and actively participate in meetings and disaster response efforts of the Regional, Provincial and Municipal Disaster Risk Coordinating Council during adverse weather events.
“An Operations Center should be activated at the CENRO, PENRO and Regional Offices which is tasked to receive instructions, and be responsible for providing regular updates and submission of reports to the Central Office. It shall be manned 24/7 by capable and dependable field officials complete with communications equipment, vehicles and other safety equipment necessary to effectively respond to the needs during abnormal weather events,” DENR Secretary further ordered in the memorandum. (MGB RO-6)