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Lack of geologists in Eastern Visayas hampers mapping of hazard areas

By Joey A. Gabieta
Inquirer Visayas
First Posted 18:05:00 04/26/2011

Filed Under: Government offices & agencies, Disasters (general), Landslide

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines?The geohazard mapping of Eastern Visayas would be delayed because the region's Mines and Geosciences Bureau has only one geologist.

?Our lack of geologists here in the region could affect our geohazard survey. Right now, our central office has set a target of geohazard mapping involving eight areas across the region,? according to James Leones, the chief geologist and the only one in the MGB-8.

The geohazard surveys will be conducted by the MGB-8 this year in San Juan town and Maasin City, both in Southern Leyte; Tacloban and Ormoc cities in Leyte; Catbalogan and Calbayog cities in Samar; Borongan City in Eastern Samar and Catarman, Northern Samar.

Since he was the lone geologist in the region, Leones said it would be impossible for him to do the assignment.

The mapping could either be delayed for submission or could not be done at all, he added.

The region once had five geologists but two left for abroad while the other one chose to work in a private company.

Last month, another geologist died due to a lingering illness, Leones said. Next year, Leones will turn 65, the retirement age for government employees.

He explained that geologists left government service after being offered higher salaries.

A government geologist receives a monthly pay of P18,000 to P30,000 depending on his designation.

On the other hand, a geologist working in a private company or outside the country would receive more than double their monthly compensation at the MGB, Leones said.

Last week, MGB regional director Roger de Dios wrote a letter to their central office requesting for another geologist for Eastern Visayas.

The MGB central office has yet to respond to the letter, Leones said.

Since Eastern Visayas has been classified as a hazard region of natural calamities like landslides, flooding and earthquakes, it needs at least five geologists, he added.

Leones explained that geologists would be responsible in identifying areas prone to natural disasters to help preserve lives and properties.

The geohazard mapping that their office would be conducting would help identify areas that were either prone to landslide, flooding or earthquake, he added.

Leones said they also apprise subdivision developers if their proposed project site would be prone to disaster.



Copyright 2014 Inquirer Visayas. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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