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RP, Sweden to conduct coastal hazards workshop in Guimaras

February 19, 2007

Sunstar Iloilo
Feb. 17, 2007

THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) with the funding support and close cooperation with the Sweden International Development Agency (Sida) is conducting a week-long workshop focused on strengthening the capability of concerned agencies to handle coastal hazards at Raymen’s Beach Resort in Nueva Valencia, Guimaras from Feb. 19 to 23.

The workshop is generally aimed to encouraged and demonstrate how to incorporate risk management particularly coastal hazards management thinking into the standard local development processes. This comprises land use planning, coastal management, environment impact assessment and development application evaluation, flooding and coastal erosion.

Guimaras Island is one of the two identified potential study areas in the country that have dominance occurrence of coastal hazards. The other area is St. Bernard, Leyte in Region 8.

In Guimaras, thousands of people from the different coastal barangays and municipalities had been affected by an oil-spill when motor tanker Solar I sank off in its territorial waters on Aug. 11, 2006, carrying 2 million liters of bunker fuel which hazard is considered man-made. In 2006, in Guinsaugon, St. Bernard, Leyte, the area experienced days of continuous rains that resulted in a massive landslide which wiped out the whole village from the map.

Among the salient topics to be discussed during the workshop are: Case Study Presentation on Solar I oil spill in Guimaras; Provincial Organizational and Institutional Mechanism for Disaster Management; Physical Land-use and Contingency Planning; and Preparation of Recommendation and Presentation to Local Authorities and Field Visit to one of the heavily affected barangays by the oil-spill tragedy, the Lucmayan in Nueva Valencia.

Tim Greenhow, Sida Program Manager, and Conrado Bravante, Jr. of DENR, Bilateral and Innovative Financing Division (BIFD) of Foreign Assisted and Special Project Office (Faspo) will tackle the program overview, workshop objectives and mechanics. They will later present the program output to Guimaras Governor J.C. Rahman Nava and Nueva Valencia Mayor Diosdado Gonzaga for consideration in the Municipal Contingency Plan. Greenhow and Bravante will also serve as full-time lecturers/and resource persons in the entire workshop.

Representatives from the provincial government of Guimaras and its five municipalities, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Regional and Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (R/PDCC) Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC)-Guimaras, Housing Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) Region 6, National Intelligence and Coordinating Agency (Nica). DENR regional office officials, Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (Penro) are the workshop participants and presenters.

Regional Executive Director Lormelyn E. Claudio believes that this workshop will foster close cooperation among concerned national government agencies with the local government units in addressing hazards on coastal areas through proper planning and management.

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