July 16, 2024

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has directed the Mines and Geosciences Bureau and field offices to gear up for La Niña and to prepare all mitigation measures for its potential impacts.

A media release of the agency stated in a recently-issued memorandum, DENR Usec. for Field Operations Juan Miguel Cuna and Usec. Joselin Marcus Fragada directed MGB regional directors to activate their operation centers (OPCENs) and to assist in the conduct of Pre-Disaster Risk Assessments (PDRAs) in close collaboration with their respective Office of Civil Defense regional office counterparts.

The MGB was also advised to equip concerned local government units with updated geohazard maps and conduct information, education, and communication (IEC) activities in anticipation of La Niña.

The DENR has long set strict safety rules and regulations on large-scale mining operations.

DENR Administrative Order 2000-98 or the Mine Safety and Health Standard specifically provides for the mine safety and health standards in mining operations.

It provides for the creation of a multi-partite monitoring team composed of representatives from the MGB, concerned LGUs, the operating mining company, Environmental Management Bureau and other concerned agencies and entities, tasked to regularly conduct inspection to check on environment and safety measures in the mines site.

Mining projects are also mandated to employ at least one full time safety engineer and safety inspector to oversee the implementation of safety measures in the mines site.

On June 4, the Pagasa has announced the end of El Niño in the tropical Pacific Ocean and said La Niña generally tends to follow strong El Niño events.

It added there is 69 percent chance of La Niña developing in the months of July, August and September.

According to Pagasa, La Niña increases the likelihood of having above-normal rainfall conditions in some areas of the country.

Its adverse impacts such as floods and landslides are likely to occur over vulnerable areas and communities. – Press release