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MANILA - Homebuyers should check first the government-generated geohazard maps before investing their hard-earned cash in properties they are considering to purchase, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said.
In light of the recent natural disasters that struck the country, Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said homebuyers should refer to these geohazard maps, which could provide them vital information about flood- and landslide-prone areas.
“We want the public to make the right decision. Buying a house and lot is definitely a big investment for an ordinary family, specially those who pay at most 30 years through housing loans,” Paje said.
He said prospective property buyers or those planning to venture into infrastructure projects should refer to the geohazard maps to ensure that the lots they plan to buy are not situated in landslide- and flood-prone areas.
Real estate developers should also 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,” Paje said.
Malacanang earlier called on property developers, contractors and prospective home buyers to first check the geohazard maps before pushing through with their projects.
Based on its geohazard mapping and assessment program, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the DENR identified 10 flood-prone areas, which include Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Pangasinan, Maguindanao, Bulacan, Metro Manila, North Cotabato, Oriental Mindoro and Ilocos Norte.
The top 10 landslide-prone areas are Benguet, Mt. Province, Nueva Ecija, Kalinga-Apayao, Southern Leyte, Abra, Marinduque, Cebu, Catanduanes and Ifugao.
Paje also said MGB is conducting a coastal and marine geohazard survey and assessment.
The geohazard mapping and assessment program of the DENR-MGB is an important component of the government’s risk reduction and disaster management program.
This 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 of slope instabilities.
Paje said the DENR has already completed the geohazard maps with a scale of 1:50,000 for all the 1,634 cities and municipalities throughout the country. It also began the densification of said maps or enlarging the maps at a scale of 1:10,000.
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, with a scale of 1:50,000, are also downloadable.
Paje said interested parties can get a copy of the maps from their local government units down to the barangay level.
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