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MGB conducts geohazard assessment near mine site of OceanaGold

To assess the communities near the mining sites, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Region 02 conducted a rapid geohazard and safety assessment in barangays near or adjacent to OceanaGold Philippines Incorporated particularly Brgys. Alimit and Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya on Sept. 24-27, 2018.

The said assessment was in line with the government’s efforts to reduce, if not totally mitigate the destructive effects and impacts of natural hazards to the community.

The technical team was composed of Geologists Chad Lowe S. Aquino and Jiles Arvin A. Vergara, Engr. Robert Carreon, and Senior Environmental Management Specialist Jose delos Santos.

According to their assessment report, the assessed areas were rated as having low, moderate, high, or very high critical susceptibility to landslides.

The areas assessed were only limited to sitios and puroks that are within or near the mine site of OGPI due to the limited amount of time for the assessment.

The technical team also prioritized the areas that were already identified in the latest geohazard assessment as danger zones.

Based on the 1:10,000-scale geohazard map produced in 2013, majority of the communitiees surrounding the OGPI mine site, including the mining area have moderate susceptibility to landslide, while the surrounding elevated areas where some puroks are situated have high susceptibility to landslides.

“This is due to the area being situated on a mountainous terrain with peak elevations ranging from 800 to 1100 meters above sea level and slopes that are moderately steep to very steep,” Geologist Chad Aquino said.

According to their report assessment, some of the portions of Brgys. Alimit and Didipio that are located near the rivers could still be prone to flash flood even though they are within landslide-susceptible areas.

Meanwhile, majority of the residential areas at Purok 1 in Brgy. Alimit where there is small-scale mining activity are located in low-lying areas.

“The eight households within this portion of the purok are situated downslope of the mining area,” Aquino said.

The old Barangay Health Center and Day Care Center also in Brgy. Alimit has a Very High Susceptibility rating while the abandoned/old small- scale mining area in Purok 2 has also a Very High susceptibility rating to landslide.

The quarry area for backfill materials on the boundary between Purok 2 and Purok 3 has also a High susceptibility rating to landslide.

“The road going to Alimit Elementary School in Purok 6 has also a Very High susceptibility rating to landslide which is very critical,” Vergara said.

According to the assessment report, there are tension cracks generally trending northwest-southeast parallel to the road that started in 2016 and has worsened in 2017. The team assessed that Sitio Dupit is Very High susceptible to landslide.

The road to high school in Sitio Pimmadek has also a Very High susceptibility rating to landslide where the portion of circumferential road is reported to continuously fail even after two times of repair and reconstruction.

Further, the Eastern Nueva Vizcaya National High School is also assessed as having a Very High susceptibility rating.

“Based on the existing 1:10,000 scale landslide and flood hazard map, the area where the National Highschool is situated has a moderate landslide susceptibility, but due on the observed evidences of an impending mass movement, we assessed it as very critical, having a Very High susceptibility rating to landslide same with Didipio Elementary School,” Vergara emphasized.

Didipio Elementary School was also assessed as having a very high susceptibility rating to landslide.

The technical team also conducted a geohazard assessment in Sitio Surong where the small-scale mining hydraulic area is located. The team found out that hill where the small scale mining activity is located is already half mined/cut. The technical team said that this posed a great risk since it is altering a terrain that greatly reduces its structural identity.

“If there will be an event that will trigger this area, for example a strong typhoon or an earthquake, this may induce failure,” Aquino said.

The team recommended for a strict and continuous monitoring of the areas to avoid further hazards. -With Reports from Geosciences Division

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MGB trains employees on Gender sensitivity, mine tour conducted


The Mines and Geosciences Bureau Region II recently conducted a training on Gender sensitivity at Punta Amelita, Cordon, Isabela.

The said training aims to strengthen the Gender and Development (GAD) Program of the bureau through the conduct of workshops and trainings that will help the employees understand gender concepts.

MGB GAD Focal Person Felicitas V. Piligan said that the training will capacitate MGB employees on understanding of gender equality concerns.

Gender and Development Facilitator Jocelyn Tuscano said that the training gave emphasis on gender differences and how to use these differences symbiotically in the working environment.

“The Gender Sensitivity Training will help the employees of MGB to develop a better understanding of gender roles and differences for a more gender responsive organization and that includes the third sex,” Tuscano said.

“Gender sensitivity is not only about us, when we talk of gender let us take into consideration the cultural and societal factors that help us shape our view in our traditional and non-traditional roles in the society.

The lectures and activities were facilitated by Jocelyn Tuscano, professor and head of the Gender and Development office of Cagayan State University-Andrews Campus.

After the one-day lecture, a mine visit at the Didipio Mine Site of OceanaGold Philippines Inc. (OGPI) was conducted to raise awareness to the non-technical staff of the bureau regarding mining operation.

RD Mario A. Ancheta accompanied his staff and gave elaboration on the technical aspects of the OGPI operation during the mine visit.

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MGB R02 holds first aid, basic life support training

By: Lyndee Rose Basilio


With the aim to capacitate its employees on safe and prompt first aid to casualty at work or in public, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. II recently held a first aid and basic life support training on August 25, 2017 at MGB conference hall.

Perly Jane B. Tabao of Redcross Tuguegarao said that the first aid training will level up the knowledge of MGB employees on emergency preparedness following an injury or illness.

“Majority cases of death are not because of severe injury after an emergency situation, but because of not applying prompt and correct emergency first aid to the victim of the accident situation,” Tabao said.

Redcross Tuguegarao Chapter Representative Marivell L. Puputi underscored on how to manage emergency situation by emphasizing the vital role of the first aider and its life-saving skills and action for severe bleeding, burns and scalds, splinters, and shock.

Basic principles on using bandage and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) was also demonstrated by the training instructors.

All employees of the bureau including the members of the Regional Emergency Response Team (RERT) of MGB attended said training. This activity was hand in hand with the Philippine Redcross- Tuguegarao Chapter.

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MGB celebrates women’s month
 By: Lyndee Rose Basilio


The Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. II organized activities in celebration of the National Women’s Month this March.


Highlighted in the celebration of women’s month was the cook festival that was open to all female employees of the Bureau.

The participants were divided into four teams with eight members each.  The contested dish was fish sinigang while another dish meal of the team’s choice was also presented to the judges as side dish.

The dishes were judged by: taste- 70 percent; visual appeal- 15 percent; and observance of kitchen sanitation- 15 percent.

Bearing this year’s theme: “ We Make Change, Work for Women,” Gender and Development (GAD) Focal Person, Ms. Felicitas V. Piligan said in her message to the employees that,” the cook fest is a good venue for us to empower our women considering their important roles in the kitchen; that women of today can both work and perform household chores.”

 She also emphasized the importance of recognizing the contribution of women in the society through the conduct of activities that highlight the important roles of women in the society.

MGB also spearheaded a Zumba dance dubbed as hataw exercise held last March 20, 2017.

The conduct of National Women’s Month is embodied in Proclamation 222, series of 1998 that provides for the observance of the month of March as women’s role in history month. #LRSB


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GRVA conducted in some municipalities of Batanes province
 By: Lyndee Rose Basilio

vraTo determine the groundwater availability and to describe the aquifer/s in the area, geologists including some personnel of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. II (MGB R0II) conducted a Groundwater Resource and Vulnerability Assessment in the municipalities of Basco, Mahatao,Ivana, Uyugan, and Sabtang, Batanes.

A total of 45 wells were surveyed within Batan and Sabtang Islands. Most of the surveyed wells are submersible pumps especially in Batan Island while few are deep wells in artesian pumps.

Before the earthquake that jolted Batanes province in early 2000, the municipality of Basco depended on the spring of Mt. Iraya as a main source of water for its populace, however, after the earthquake, the pipelines connecting the spring source and the water distribution lines in the downtown area of Batanes were destroyed.

The Local Government of Batanes constructed production wells all over the municipality of Basco to transport water and steam for utilization.

On the other hand, majority of the assessed wells in the municipality of Sabtang are shallow open dug wells converted to jetmatic hand-pumped wells. The majority of the wells are situated in the residential areas few are found in public sites. Based on data gathered, well depths range from 4m to 60m below the ground surface.

Gypsophila Craig L. Selvano, contractual geologist of MGB said that, “ the areas having shallow groundwater level are located near the coast while the groundwater located in the foothills and at the central part of Batan Island were generally deep.”

Locations of springs were also noted where most number of springs which were tapped for drinking are situated in the municipality of Uyugan.

Based on results of in situ testing, the water quality in the area generally passed the Department of Health (DOH) standard for safe drinking in terms of pH level, total dissolved solids and salinity. Multi-parameter handheld tester was used to test the quality of water.

Moreover, some of the water wells are not safe for drinking and only limited for domestic use only particularly in barangays Nakanmuan and Sinakan, Sabtang province.

Selvano, Domingo J. De Asis, cartographer II, and Jose U. Delos Santos Jr., senior environmental management specialist (SEMS) conducted said assessment.

Well inventory and water quality test for the municipalities of Basco, Mahattao, Ivana, Uyugan, and Sabtang were completed during the fieldwork. Georesistivity survey in the province of Batanes will also be conducted by the Bureau. – LRSB with reports from Geosciences Division

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