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MGB targets more cities, towns for geohazard mapping in 2013

MANILA, Sept. 28 — The Mines and Geosciences Bureau is seeking to increase its budget by almost half to boost major programs for next year.

In a statement, MGB Director Leo Jasareno said that they have proposed a total budget of P1.04 billion for 2013, higher by 40 percent compared to the 2012 budget of P742.49 million.

The components of the 2013 budget include the P439.36 million for Personal Services (PS), P463.16 million for Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE), and P135.60 million for Capital Outlay (CO).

The increase in MOOE budget, or approximately P190 million, will be used for the conduct of geohazard assessment and mapping of additional 330 municipalities and cities.

Jasareno said that a total of 548 municipalities/cities were targeted for geohazard assessment and mapping in the 1:10,000 scale for 2013.

Additional budget is also allocated for the monitoring of compliance of mining companies to their approved work programs; safety, health, environment and social programs; as well as the rehabilitation and construction of MGB office and laboratory facilities.

The increase in budget for PS can be attributed to the implementation of the fourth tranche of the Salary Standardization Law III.

A salient feature of the budget proposal is the P4.22 million earmarked for the grant of scholarships to 20 undergraduate students taking up degrees in Geology, Mining Engineering and Metallurgical Engineering. This is part of MGB’s commitment to support deserving students who will become the future professionals in the industry.

Also, the approval of the proposed budget will ensure the attainment of MGB’s major programs, including Geohazard Mapping and Assessment Program (land and coastal areas) geared towards disaster preparedness; Promotion of science-based knowledge management that will contribute to the development of climate change adaptation strategies for vulnerable communities.

The MGB also aims to promote responsible minerals industry that will provide more jobs (direct and indirect employment), generate revenues by assisting the development of mining projects, and the identification and declaration of new Mineral Reservation Areas; ensuring sustainable and responsible mining guided by best practices in safety, health, environment, social development and mine rehabilitation of abandoned and inactive mines; and generation of critical information on groundwater resources availability and vulnerability of various regions and areas of the country for water resources management and development. (PNA)

SCS/JKG/DMY

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