June 24, 2024

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau-Cordillera is appealing to local government units in the region to take the recommendations of the agency on geohazard threats seriously.

MGB-Cordillera Chief Faye Apil, in a recent press conference, said copies of geohazard maps were already provided to the 77 municipalities and two cities of the region.

The same hazard maps and recommendations from the MGB were also distributed to the barangays for them to use in their disaster risk reduction and management planning and comprehensive land use plans.

But there have been many instances where some LGUs would ask their office for a copy of the geohazard maps time and again.

She said it is only with the creation of the DRRM offices and designation of officers that helped in the proper coordination of the LGUs with their office on disaster risk management.

MGB has been assisting LGUs in their assessment of geohazard areas but some would not implement or follow the agency’s recommendations.

“We really need the wholehearted acceptance from the LGU when it comes to our recommendations. Sometimes, even if we say there should not be a house allowed in a ravine, construction was allowed in the same area after a few months,” Apil said.

She cited the case of Banaue, Ifugao where houses were observed to be built even at easements, which contributed to the clogging of the drainage during the July 7 flashflood and mudslides.  

 Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Cordillera Executive Director Ralph Pablo said the effects of climate change is being felt by the region as what happened in Banaue.

 He cited a study showing that the rainfall depth in Banaue at 3 p.m. of July 7 is at 4.8 millimeters and increased to 14.8 mm after an hour which greatly contributed to the flashflood.

 Pablo echoed Apil, stating that building officials should strictly implement building laws and road rights-of-way in Banaue. – Ofelia C. Empian