DENR 4A: High risk geohazard areas not for human habitation

Wednesday, September 12, 2012 12:00 AM    Views : 4807by:Francis Jay M. Bilowan

High risk geohazard areas should not be used for human habitation to avoid endangering people and preventing incurring loss of more lives and property, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regional office here on Wednesday said.

DENR Calabarzon regional director Reynulfo A. Juan issued the statement, as he warned constructors, especially builders of industrial and commercial buildings and infrastructure, and developers of subdivisions and housing units against disregarding government's advice in the handling of weather disturbances.

Juan said stakeholders in the construction industry and housing developers should be reminded always of government pronouncements on weather conditions in order to ensure tempering the impact of disasters and calamities ushered in by earthquakes, typhoons, floods, mooonson rains and man-made occurences, among others.

The DENR official cited recent tragic events that struck several provinces and cities in Mindanao, Western and Eastern Visayas, Bicol, Central Luzon, the Cordilleras, Cagayan Valley and other regions, causing destruction of billions of pesos worth of infrastructure, agriculture products, private property and loss of hundreds of lives in their areas.

"Calabarzon was no exception to the recent devastations, especially the Province of Laguna whose 18 coastal towns were inundated by waist and neck-deep flood waters, and up to this day, 10 municipalities of the province remain submerged under water brought about by the southwest moonson (habagat) last month, similar to what these areas suffered in 2009 when hard hit by "typhoon Ondoy,"Juan said.

Juan assured that DENR 4A is the targetting the full rehabilitation of some 10,823 hectares of denuded forest lands by the end of this year as part of its overall effort to dissipate the impact of disasters and calamities that might struck Calabarzon in the months and years to come.

"It's not time for us to rest as the country will face a new year with presumably similar calamities," he said, adding that his agency will continue to aspire and work to upgrade its services this last quarter of 2012 to address the problem.

To achieve its programs, Juan spelled out DENR 4A's programs and activities, foremost of which is the urgency of using geohazard maps as a useful guide against calamities, and in preparing for future disasters.

He emphasized the vital role of geohazard maps as warnintg to disaster-prone areas and as a guide to prevent catastrophes, even as he agreed with the statement of the DENR Secetary Ramon Paje that geohazard maps are "more than a planning tool, but are a lifesaver."

According to Juan, DENR-IV-A had produced the geohazard maps now made available by the regional office's Decision Support Systems Office (DSSO) in this city and at the Mines and Geosciences Bureau-Region 4A in Manila.

He said that based on maps prepared by the DENR, it listed ‘Areas in Calabarzon with high or critical landslide susceptibility, namely Tagaytay City and municipalities of Maragondon, Ternate, Silang, Alfonso, and Corregidor in the province of Cavite.

In Laguna, landslide susceptible areas are Calamba City, Los Baños, Alaminos, Rizal, Nagcarlan, Majayjay, Famy, Mabitac, Sta. Maria, Siniloan, Kalayaan, Cavinti and Paete, Juan said, adding that in Batangas, the towns of Laurel, Mataas na Kahoy, Cuenca, Lipa City, Tuy, Calaca, Mabini, San Juan, and Rosario were considered susceptible for landslides.

In the Province of Rizal,areas susceptible to landslides include Antipolo City, Taytay, Rodriguez, San Mateo, Angono, Binangonan, Cardona, Morong, Baras, Majayjay, Tanay, Pililia and Jalajala, he said.

In Quezon, Juan said the landslide susceptible areas are Gen. Nakar, Infanta, Real, Mauban, Panukalan, Burdeos, Pagbilao, Atimonan, Lopez, Buenavista, Mulanay, San Andres, San Fransisco, Tagkauayan, Sampaloc, Dolores, Tayabas, Lucban and Gen. Luna.

Juan also said that based on the flood susceptibility map of DENR, the Mines Geosciences Bureau (MGB), and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Calabarzon communities with high, moderate and low susceptibility the floods are: Cacite -- the towns of Kawit, Noveleta and Cavite City are areas flood-prone with high susceptibility.

In Laguna, the areas are the towns of Mabitac, Santa Maria, Famy, Siniloan, Pangil, Pakil, Paete, Kalayaan, Lumban, Cavinti, and Santa Cruz in the province of Laguna.

In Batangas province, areas considered as flood prone with high susceptibility are the towns of Nasugbu, Lian, Calatagan, Tuy, Balayan, Calaca, Lemery, Taal, San Luis, Bauan, San Pascual, Batangas, Lobo, Laurel, Talisay and Tanauan.

For Rizal Province, the highly susceptible flood prone areas include San Mateo, Cainta, Taytay, Angono, Binangonan, Cardona, Morong, Baras, Tanay, and Antipolo, An in Quezon province are Infanta, Real, Mauban, Pagbilao, Padre Burgos, Pitogo, Macalelon, Catanauan, Mulanay, Buenavista, Lopez, Guinayangan, Tagkawayan, Calauag, Polilio, Burdeos and Lucena City, Juan said.

Meanwhile, Juan said that "As far as the National Greening Program (NGP)of President Benigno Aquino is concerned, DENR 4A has already completed rehabilitating some 4,735 hectares or 99.13 percent of denuded forestland the target set as of December 2011. This coming 2013, the DENR central office earmarked 10,823 hectares as our new target for NGP in the region, he said.

"One of the top priorities of President Aquino and DENR Secretary Ramon Paje is the implementation of the NGP, mandating the planting and nurturing of some 1.5 billion trees in 1.5 million hectares of lands of the public domain for a period of six years from 2011 to 2016," Juan explained.

He said the target for 2012 is more than twice the number of hectares to be covered by DENR-Calabarzon compared to the 2011 target, but Director Juan said he was firm on his commitment to accomplish the seemingly daunting

"DENR 4A is rehabilitating denuded forest lands—planting and nurturing the trees to ensure buffering the rain, absorb the excess water and prevent run-offs and flood— which are the main concerns being addressed by the NGP, aside from generating jobs.

Juan said, "A green forestland also cools the Earth. Our contribution in Calabarzon this year is to rehabilitate another 10,823 hectares. " Juan said.

He said the legacy he would like to introduce during his stint until he leaves DENR Region IV-A is, "Ang matapat, matuwid at mabilis na paglilingkod sa bayan," vowing an honest, upright and fast and efficient service to all stakeholders and our countrymen.


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