MANILA, June 16 — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has declared as a geological monument certain coastal areas in two municipalities in Bohol, which were uplifted after a magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit the province in October 2013.
Known as the Loon-Maribojoc Geological Monument as embodied in DENR Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2015-08 issued by DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje, the uplifted coastal area covers some 137 hectares or 1.37 square kilometers of coastline within the towns of Loon and Maribojoc.
The department order declaring the uplifted coastal area as a geological monument serves to provide a legal framework for the recognition, preservation and protection of the uplifted coast, as well as encourage further researches and studies on the monument for the advancement of geosciences in the country, Paje said.
According to Paje, the DENRs Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) recommended the declaration of the coast as a geological monument based on its initial survey showing that the area formed unique geological features after the quake lifted the land by up to 1.2 meters.
Stretching eight kilometers, it straddles four barangays of Loon, namely Tangnan, Cuasi, Tontonan and Song-on, and two barangays of Maribojoc Punta Cruz and Guiwanon.
The DENR said the uplift constitutes an irreplaceable segment of the earths history and geological heritage.
Under the DAO, the MGB will perform ground verification of the area as indicated in the survey map. This will be followed by the installation of a marker containing the geological history, description and significance of the geological monument.
The bureau was also tasked to coordinate with other government agencies and concerned local governments in the preparation of a management plan for the park.
The plan will focus on enriching understanding and appreciation of the geological phenomenon, and the promotion and maintenance of the area as a potential ecotourism destination, as well as for scientific and educational purposes.
Geological monuments are sites that show outstanding features or processes considered by geologists and other scientists as worthy of conservation.
There are six other national geological monuments earlier declared by the DENR. These are the Chocolate Hills, also in Bohol; the Hundred Islands in Pangasinan; the sand dunes of Ilocos Norte; the St. Paul Limestone Formation in Puerto Princesa, Palawan; the Taal Volcano in Batangas; and the Montalban Limestone Gorge in Rodriguez, Rizal. (PNA)