Housing developers, buyers urged to consult digital geohazard maps

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?We strongly advise prospective buyers of land properties for housing or other infrastructure projects to refer to the geohazard maps to make sure that the lots they are intending to buy are not situated in landslide- and flood-prone areas,? Paje said. According to Paje, the geohazard maps can be viewed in the agency websites of the DENR, MGB, Philippine Information Agency, and the Environmental Science for Social Change. The maps on these sites, with scale of 1:50,000, are downloadable. Further, the maps are also available in the local government units for reference in their development planning. ?Buying a house and lot is definitely a big investment for an ordinary family; that they have to pay at the most, for 30 years, if they acquire such through a housing loan. Finding out that their area gets easily flooded and prone to landslide later on would be tragic, so it is better to be on safe side always,? he said. For real estate developers, Paje urged them to conduct a thorough study of the area and make the necessary engineering interventions. ?We have already experienced the varied impacts of climate change ? severe flooding, landslides, drought ? which we could no longer ignore. These are the new normal, and to stay afloat with these new situations, we need to adapt to climate change by way of technologies, engineering interventions, even the architecture of our buildings and houses.? The geohazard mapping and assessment program of the DENR-MGB is a component of the government?s risk reduction and disaster management program. The program involves the identification of areas in the country prone to various geologic hazards like rain-induced landslides, floods, ground subsidence or sinking, coastal degradation, and other forms slope instabilities. According to the DENR chief, his agency has already completed producing the geohazard maps with a scale of 1:50,000 for all the 1,634 cities and municipalities throughout the country, and has started the densification of said maps or enlarging the maps at a scale of 1:10,000. Further, he said, the DENR through the MGB is conducting coastal and marine geohazard survey and assessment. Based on its geohazard mapping and assessment program, the MGB identified the top ten flood-prone areas: Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Pangasinan, Maguindanao, Bulacan, Metro Manila, North Cotabato, Oriental Mindoro, and Ilocos Norte. The top ten landslide-prone areas, on the other hand, are Benguet, Mt. Province, Nueva Ecija, Kalinga-Apayao, Southern Leyte, Abra, Marinduque, Cebu, Catanduanes, and Ifugao. ]]>

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