Iloilo City – The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) VI, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) presented the strategic directions and priority programs under the minerals and geosciences sector during the regional management conference of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources 6 (DENR 6) on February 13-14, 2023 at the Diversion 21 Hotel in Iloilo City.
MGB VI Regional Director highlighted the Fiscal Year 2023 consolidated work program of the MGB presented during the national reprogramming workshop of the DENR last January 25-28, 2023 in Tagaytay City. The DENR tackled the strategic directions and priorities of the department and the sectoral plans of the bureaus for the next six years 2023-2028 as aligned with the Philippine Development Plan during the national reprogramming workshop.
Priority programs of the MGB include mineral regulation services, mineral resources development, geological assessment for risk reduction and resiliency program with their corresponding major activities.
One of the ways forward in terms of geohazard assessment is to come up with strategies to fast track the completion of the vulnerability and risk assessment, updating of geohazard maps, karst assessment, and conduct of IEC to the local government units.
For 2023, 71 more cities and municipalities have been targeted for vulnerability and risk assessment, and four municipalities are in Region 6 namely, Valderrama, Antique, Don Salvador Benidicto, Negros Occidental, Buruanga, Aklan, and Sapian, Capiz. For Karst subsidence hazard assessment and mapping, San Enrique, Iloilo is among the 23 cities and municipalities underlain by carbonate rocks that will be assessed this year. Coastal geohazard mapping of the country is also a priority of MGB.
The MGB is also directed to harmonize its priority targets for groundwater assessment with “water-stressed” areas identified by the National Water and Regulatory Board (NWRB). Forty-eight (48) cities and municipalities within watersheds and eight (8) climate-vulnerable provinces have been identified for ground water resource and vulnerability assessment this year. In Region 6, these are Leon, Maasin and New Lucena (Tigum-Aganan Watershed), Iloilo province.
The need for coordination with other sectors such as forestry, biodiversity, environment, lands, and other sectors to prioritize overlapping areas, especially for declared and proposed mineral reservation areas was also emphasized. Targets for new mineral reservation areas will be assessed and endorsed for declaration, including previously identified areas in Sibalom, Patnongon and San Remigio, Antique.
The development of small-scale mining through the identification and declaration of Minahang Bayan sites is also one of the programs of MGB that assist local government units under the mineral resources development program. In Region 6, one area in Libertad, Antique has been identified as a potential minahang Bayan site for silica quartz. (MGB VI)