DENR: More than 100 areas face flooding, landslides

Ramon Efren Lazaro, Bella Cariaso - The Philippine Star
DENR: More than 100 areas face flooding, landslides
The DENR team was joined by experts from the UP-MSI led by Fernando Siringan, Jose Fernando Alcantara and Rolando Tolentino.
twitter.com / DENROfficial

MANILA, Philippines — More than 100 areas nationwide are threatened by flooding and landslides amid the announcement of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) that the country is expected to transition to a weak La Niña in August.

Joselin Marcus Fragada, Department of Environment and Natural Resources undersecretary for field operation, did not identify the affected areas but said the DENR already identified the high, moderate and low susceptible areas to the threat of La Niña.

Fragada also said that Environment Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga has already ordered the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and all field offices to ensure the country’s preparedness before the onset of La Niña.

“As early as now, until La Niña sets in, we already have the preparatory activities for them (more than 100 susceptible areas). We are prepared as we cannot prevent anything,” Fragada said during a chance interview during the 2024 Project TRANSFORM Colloquium celebration at the SMX Convention in Pasay City.

“All over the Philippines, in all the 16 regions, we have the highly susceptible, moderately susceptible and low. Based on the (geohazard) maps we provided to local government units (LGUs), we have areas that are prone to landslides, earthquakes, storm surges, liquefaction,” he added.

According to Fragada, the DENR already asked local government units (LGUs) to educate their respective constituents.

“What’s important is that the maps are read, and are actually a part of the education to the communities,” he added.

In a memorandum issued by Fragada and Environment Undersecretary for field operations Juan Miguel Cuna, the MGB regional directors are instructed to activate their operation centers and to assist in the conduct of pre-disaster risk assessments in close collaboration with their respective Office of Civil Defense regional office counterparts.

Cuna said the MGB was also advised to equip concerned LGUs with updated geohazard maps and conduct information, education and communication activities in anticipation of La Niña.

He also said that mining projects are mandated to employ at least one full time safety engineer and safety inspector to oversee the implementation of safety measures in the mine sites.

PAGASA said 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. It recently advised government agencies and the public to stay vigilant and undertake necessary precautions to address the potential impacts of La Niña.

Meanwhile, a total of 1,069 farmers and fisherfolk affected by the El Niño in the towns of San Miguel, Obando and San Rafael in Bulacan have received aid from the provincial government. The recipients received P5,000 in financial assistance, food packs and fertilizer.

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