MGB updates Soccsksargen geohazard maps

Philippine News Agency

May 26, 2021

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in Region 12 (Soccsksargen) has launched another round of assessment on the susceptibility of various communities to flooding and landslides.

Ariel Acosta, MGB-12 supervising geologist, said Wednesday they are gradually updating the geohazard maps of localities to determine possible changes in their vulnerability to rain-induced hazards.

He said the assessment is being conducted in coordination with concerned local government units (LGUs) down to the sitio and purok levels.

“Ideally, the geohazard maps should be updated every three to five years so this is currently ongoing,” he said in an online radio program hosted by the Philippine Information Agency.

The updating includes the assessment on the implementation of mitigating measures they recommended to LGUs, which could change an area’s susceptibility rating if properly adopted, he said.

Acosta said they already completed the initial geohazard mapping of all 50 cities and municipalities in the region, which was conducted in two batches.

The first batch was finished in 2014 to 2015 and the second batch in 2020, with all LGUs already provided with copies of their geohazard maps.

He said the mapping covers the determination of a locality’s combined moderate and high susceptibility rating to floods and landslides.

In terms of landslides, included in the top 10 areas are Lake Sebu, Tampakan and Tboli towns in South Cotabato; Libungan, Arakan, Magpet and Carmen in North Cotabato; Malungon and Glan in Sarangani; and, Columbio in Sultan Kudarat.

The highly prone areas to flooding are Norala and Tampakan in South Cotabato; Cotabato City; Palimbang, Lutayan, Lambayong, Tacurong City and Kalamansig in Sultan Kudarat; and, Pikit and Mlang in North Cotabato.

Felizardo Gacad Jr., MGB-12 director, said they are regularly providing updates and other relevant information to LGUs and the public to help mitigate or lessen the impact of possible disasters.

“We are not alarmists. We want to make people aware about relevant facts and correct information so they can also act in the right manner,” he said.

He added the information that they provide, especially on an area’s vulnerability to geohazards, is properly validated through onsite visits and assessment by their geologists.

Gacad said they issue recommendations to the LGUs so they can decide and implement the appropriate mitigating measures. (PNA)

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