More than forty existing mining rights holders attended a Stakeholders’ Meeting on the Geohazards Mapping Program last June 7 organized by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) 7.

MGB-7 Regional Director Loreto B. Alburo said the forum presented the details and upcoming activities towards disaster risk management and climate change adaptation strategies as a priority program of Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon JP Paje.

‘We are calling for this forum to urge our mining rights holders for a possible public-private partnership in fast tracking the detailed geohazards assessment and mapping at 1:10,000 scale as they have the resources to expedite the process,” he said.

He mentioned that the geographic and geologic setting of the Philippines which is part of Pacific Ring of Fire and Earthquake Belt and with around 20 typhoons per year entering the Philippine area of responsibility, make it prone to various hazards.

Among the geological hazards are typhoon or rain-related such as landslides and flooding, earthquake-related including tsunami, and volcano-related.

“The poor site selection of settlement sites and other human interventions also trigger occurrence of geologic hazards,” he said.

Mining rights holders include Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA), Exploration Permit (EP), Industrial Sand and Gravel Permit (ISAG), and Mineral Processing Plants (MPP).

The National Geohazard Mapping and Assessment Programme is to identify areas in the country that are susceptible or vulnerable to various geologic hazards and increase public awareness in order to lessen or mitigate the negative impacts of these events.

The 1:10,000-scale geohazard map is expected to be completed in 2014 and it intends to assess the 218 cities and municipalities in the country in 2012 and by 2014 it shall have mapped around 1,462.

Out of 218 cities and municipalities to be mapped this year, 12 are targeted from Central Visayas.

“We are trying to see the implementation of this joint partnership with mining rights holders in August 2012 after we shall have finalized the terms of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) with mining companies and private geologists,” Alburo added.

“So far we are getting positive feedback from our partners or mining rights holders in pursuing this activity,” he said.