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At the start of calendar year 2020, the Geosciences Division of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. 8 has lined up year-round activities for the Geological Risk Reduction and Resiliency Program. These activities are the Groundwater Resource and Vulnerability Assessment (GRVA), Vulnerability and Risk Assessment (VRA), Updating of 1:10,000 scale Geohazard Maps, Information, Education and Communication Campaign on Vulnerability and Risk Assessment (IEC-VRA), Geologic Quadrangle Mapping, Karst Subsidence Hazard Assessment and Coastal Vulnerability Assessment and Mapping. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and by virtue of the Department of Budget and Management National Budget Circular No. 580, there was a discontinuance of at least 10% of the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) and Capital Outlays (CO) for FY 2020. This has resulted to a reduction of the 2020 targets. However, even with the said reduction, the division was able to finish all 2020 targets right on time.

For the Groundwater Resource and Vulnerability Assessment (GRA), the project was supposed to focus on four municipalities in the Province of Leyte. Of the four targets, only two have been accomplished. These are the municipalities of Calubian and San Isidro, Leyte.

The Vulnerability and Risk Assessment (VRA) and Updating of 1:10,000 scale Geohazard Maps was supposed to be conducted to ten municipalities in Northern Samar. As a result of the reduction of targets, only eight have been conducted for the year. These are the municipalities of Allen, Bobon, Catubig, Lavezares, Mondragon, Pambujan, Rosario and San Roque, Northern Samar. Geohazard advisories and exit/activity reports have been furnished to the respective municipalities.

For the Information, Education and Communication Campaign on Vulnerability and Risk Assessment (IEC-VRA), this year’s activities focused on the municipalities where the VRA and Updating of the 1:10,000 scale Geohazard Maps project was implemented back in the year 2018. A total of 12 municipalities were slated for the one-day training-workshop, all of which are in the Province of Southern Leyte. However, of the 12 targets, only six have been conducted. These are the municipalities of Saint Bernard, San Juan, Liloan, San Ricardo, Libagon and Pintuyan. Each municipality was furnished with the VRA reports, as well as geohazard maps and geohazard information materials such as posters, pamphlets and VCDs.

The Geologic Quadrangle Mapping project was supposed to cover three quadrangles in the region: Sogod, Bato and Hilongos. As a result of the reduction, only the field assessment in the Sogod and Bato quadrangles have been conducted.

The Karst Subsidence Hazard Assessment, which focuses on sinkhole inventory and subsidence hazard assessment, was conducted in Salcedo, Eastern Samar. The field assessment was done simultaneously with the Updating of the 1:10,000 scale Geohazard Maps in Disaster-affected Areas, which focused on the same municipality. Geohazard advisories and exit/activity reports have been furnished to the municipality.

For this year’s Coastal Vulnerability Assessment and Mapping, it was conducted in the municipalities of Jiabong and Motiong, Samar. Only the Habagat and Amihan field assessment were conducted for the said project. The Summer field assessment is slated for the year 2021.