By Tara Yap
Iloilo City—The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and local government units (LGUs) in Western Visayas are being urged to use geo-hazard maps to identify potential risk areas.
“The maps are necessary interventions to protect life and property,” said Leo Van Juguan, regional director of Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), a line agency of Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
Juguan told Manila Bulletin the regional MGB will check if geo-hazard maps it released in 2015 are being used effectively by DPWH and local governments in Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental provinces.
The 1:10,000-meter scale maps can identify areas in barangays that are prone to landslides, floods and even sinkholes.
Juguan said DPWH must consult the maps before approving infrastructures projects, while the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) of LGUs must it as a guide.
A landslide during the onslaught of Typhoon Urduja last December caused a landslide in Nabas town in Aklan. The landslide blocked a road which is crucial to tourists going to and from the popular beach destination of Boracay Island.
“That area has a history of landslides. MGB doesn’t even have to be there for the LGU or DPWH to know that,” Juguan said.