Mabuhay! And thank you for visiting our MGB-7 website!
Welcome to the realm of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Region 7 Central Visayas where you would feast on mining, mineral resources, technical and scientific data and information pertinent to Cebu, Bohol, Negros and Siquijor Provinces.
As we begin to embark on our journey towards fulfilling our flagship programs and targets for this year 2016, let us recount for a moment the significant milestones that we have achieved in 2015:
- In continuity of the 1:10,000 scale National Geohazard Assessment and Mapping Program, the very first implementation of Subsidence (Karst) Hazard Assessment was undertaken in Mactan Island, in the Municipalities of Sta. Fe and Oslob and in the City of Bogo, all in the Province of Cebu, while the Vulnerability and Risk Assessment (VRA) Program was pioneered in the City of Tagbilaran, Province of Bohol.
- Groundwater Resource Assessment was carried out in the Municipality of Sta. Fe, Cebu Province.
- Coastal Geohazard Assessment covered the three (3) Provinces of Region 7 which include Cebu, Bohol and Negros Oriental. In Cebu, it covered the municipality of Samboan in the southwest mainland, and the three (3) municipalities within Bantayan Island which is located in the northern tip of Cebu island province, namely Sta. Fe, Bantayan, and Madridejos. In Bohol, it included municipalities of Panglao and Dauis. And in Negros Oriental, the assessment was completed in Dumaguete City.
- Information Education Communication (IEC) Program was successfully undertaken in the prioritized fourteen (14) target municipalities in northern Cebu mainland which were hardest hit by super typhoon Yolanda. The IEC was also able to cover the three (3) municipalities of the Bantayan Island.
- Various forms of other services and assistance for the interest and benefit of the general public were also performed which include, among others, the following:
- Acceptance, processing and issuance of Industrial Sand and Gravel, Mineral Processing Permits and Certificates of Accreditation
- Processing, evaluation and indorsement of Applications for Exploration Permits, Mineral Processing Permits, etc.
- Processing and issuance of Mineral Ore Export Permits, Ore Transport Permits for the transport/shipment of mineral ores and certifications for mineral/rock sample shipments..
- Monitoring of approved Mining Rights.
- Investigation of mining complaints and conflicts.
- Assistance to the concerned LGUs in the implementation of the MGB devolved functions thru the P/CMRBs
- Monitoring of Safety, Health, Environmental and Social Development Management Programs.
- Evaluation and approval of Safety and Health and Social Development Management Programs.
- Evaluation and indorsement of Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programs
Accomplishments of such huge scientific and technical tasks would not have been possible without the support of every member and team of the MGB-7 family who toiled with utmost perseverance and fortitude towards achieving the objectives and prevailing over all obstacles. To the ladies and gentlemen of this MGB-7 family, I am truly honored and grateful for giving me this opportunity of working with you. Your excellent accomplishments and unrelenting sense of public service never go unnoticed. Thank you indeed.
In behalf of the MGB-7 family, I would like to thank also our associates in the private sector, Local Government Units (LGUs), the general public, and other stakeholders who in many ways nobly contributed and helped in attaining our mandates, programs and services.
With continued effort, dedication and commitment, I believe we can accomplish all the work challenges and targets, with quality, integrity and professionalism for the year 2016 and beyond.
LORETO B. ALBURO, CESO VI
The year 2012 marked our silver anniversary, a year of sparkles. It was indeed a banner year for our Department. Thanks to your hard work, undivided dedication and unwavering commitment that contributed to significant milestones and unprecedented honors:
- The SWS Sincerity Rating Against Corruption gave us a double upgrade by crossing over the consistently negative ratings of as low as -44 in 2005 to a modest +1, because of our vigorous campaign against inefficiency and corruption;
- Pulse Asia survey also gave us +60 in public approval for our efforts in stopping the abuse of the environment, earning for us a net approval rating of +49 from -12 in 2009; and
- The global Environmental Performance Index (EPI) of the Yale and Columbia Universities, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and the European Commission, rated the Philippines as "Strong Environmental Performer", even outranking technologically advanced countries like South Korea, Australia, the USA, Singapore and Israel. We also surpassed our area targets in the National Greening Program (NGP) by reforesting some 329,732 hectares since 2011. This is complemented by our intensified operations against illegal logging, which significantly reduced the number of illegal logging hotspots nationwide from 197 to 31, and convicted 72 persons out of 546 cases filed. These are now the focus of the revitalized anti-illegal logging campaign under the leadership of the military this 2013.
Although, still polluted, our efforts in cleaning up the air in Metro Manila paid off with the reduction of TSP levels by 36% from 166 µg/Ncm in June 2010 to 106 µg/Ncm in September 2012. PM 10 levels also declined by 7% in September 2012. Likewise, under the Adopt-An-Estero/River Program, some 348 agreements have been forged with corporations and LGUs, for the cleaning up of about 207 water bodies, nationwide.
Finally, beginning 2011, we have continually cleared our ranks of erring employees, dismissing/penalizing 32 and filing charges against 34, while 176 remained under investigation. We encouraged transparency in our operations by posting all contracts and bidding results in our websites; promoting cashless transactions; and installing over 2,000 CCTV cameras in all our offices.
These were just among the highlights of a fulfilling 2012! We thus stand rightly proud of what we have together achieved, which we, in great honors, also dedicate to the environmental heroes who gave up their precious lives for the protection of our environment.
As we embark on the year 2013, let us continue to better our best and avoid backsliding to afford our institution, the DENR, the needed impetus to sustain its momentum in facing the growing challenges in the years ahead.
On this note and on behalf of President Benigno S. Aquino III, thank you once more for your commendable contributions.
Mabuhay tayong lahat!
Landslide is one of nature’s most powerful and destructive forces – it strike wherever the rock and soil are loosened by rain or by gravity.
Torrential rains usually trigger widespread landslides in areas where slopes are steep, where bedrocks are weathered, fractured and loose. It also frequently occurs in areas where people have altered the natural landscapes or stripped its vegetation.
In Central Visayas, several landslides have occurred over the past days after continuous downpour since tropical depression Auring. One of the most massive and damaging landslides to have occurred were in the upland barangays of Cebu City. Close to a hundred families were evacuated in barangay Sirao, and ten vehicles were buried in sitio Garahe, in barangay Busay after two separate landslide incidents.
At least 38 households were also evacuated in barangay Uling, Naga after a minor landslide occurred.
Although there are only five houses that were directly affected by the landslide path, all the other households living within the danger zones were already asked to go to a safer ground near the barangay hall.
Barangay Uling has a history of mass movement thus the bureau recommended for continuous monitoring of the tension cracks as the toe of the landslide is still moving.
In barangay Sirao, where its lithology is a combination of sandy and clayey and a weathered bedrock, it is typical that a mass movement will occur. When rain pours, it saturates the ground and causes slope failure.
The ground is unstable making it unfit for human settlement. Our geologists have noticed old landslide areas that have already grown vegetation. Slope failures are everywhere, exhibiting visible cracks and slumps.
After the rains, the ground may compress and stabilize and residents may go back to their homes but the ground will remobilize after another downpour and another landslide may occur.
The incident in Garahe, Busay in Cebu City was another case of mass wasting caused by heavily weathered volcanic rocks.
While a riprap was constructed to protect and stabilize a slope, this could not hold a massive collapse of altered volcanic rocks. Not even vegetation could stop the landslide.
The presence of trees or any vegetation does not mean the slope is spared by a landslide. Trees according to MGB geologists can only hold up to four meters deep as their roots could not reach the solid bed rock. It may help stop erosion but if the underlying rock is highly fractured, weathered and loosened, it is still vulnerable to landslide.
It is important to understand the geological condition of a property before proceeding to any development.
The Mines and Geosciences Bureau have completed its geological hazard mapping in the country. Its coverage is specific down to the sitio level. Several information, education and communication campaigns have been launched in the region including Cebu. Among those involved in the geohazard workshops are the barangay captains, barangay councilors, local disaster risk reduction units, teachers, barangay tanods, and some officials of the people’s organization. Copies of the geohazard maps, including map coordinates of specific geologically hazardous areas were distributed.
In Central Visayas, landslides occur in almost all towns and cities but some landslides are more dangerous than others.
Disasters such as landslides have happened before in the areas specified and may happen again. People who live in these locations will continue to live with the threat of landslides. While the bureau recommends total avoidance in areas that have high disaster susceptibility, some may insist to stay for various reasons that may be personal to them.
MGB-7 Director Loreto B. Alburo consistently reminded local government officials to be guided by the geohazard maps, implement early warning signs and conduct preemptive evacuation.
The bureau, as a recommendatory agency, does not have a mandate to stop construction of any private development. Government projects, however, cannot proceed without approval and certification from MGB.