Buying a house? Maps show if it's disaster-proof

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 04 2012 04:03 PM | Updated as of Sep 05 2012 12:03 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang is advising prospective buyers of real estate properties to first check the geohazard maps available on the website of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau ( if a certain location is prone to landslides and floods.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the MGB website has uploaded the geohazard map showing the level of susceptibility of certain barangays to landslides and floods.
"If you are looking to buy land or you are looking to build a house in a particular area, we strongly suggest that you go the MGB website… para i-check niyo po kung 'yung prospective na bibilhin ninyo or 'yung tatayuan ninyo ng bahay ay flood- or landslide-prone," Valte said.
The DENR is targeting to map out 1,600 municipalities. It has finished mapping out 285 municipalities last year and is working on 285 more municipalities this year and 500 next year.
"Ano po 'yung concentration natin? Landslide-prone and flood-prone areas. Sa eastern seaboard po ito and some parts that begins from Isabela to Surigao and some parts of Agusan and also some parts of Central Luzon," Valte said.
"Baka po tanungin ninyo kung bakit merong mga area na nauna, ito po kasi 'yung more susceptible to landslides and floods. So 'yung for next year po, 'yung 500 municipalities, ang category po nila is that they are moderately susceptible to landslides and to floods-specifically parts of Mindanao and Visayas. Ang target po nila for completion of the mapping of the 1,600 municipalities would be 2015. But, as they finish it, na-a-upload na po 'yon," she added. 
Valte said the DENR has distributed the geohazard maps to 42,000 barangays. The Palace now expects LGUs to warn residents about the danger zones and to ensure that these are uninhabited.
"The LGUs must ensure that the residents are properly warned and wala po talagang tatao doon sa mga lugar na naka-identify doon sa map na landslide prone," Valte said.
Asked if there is an order for residents in danger areas to leave these danger zones, Valte said, "Well, it's the responsibility of the LGUs to make sure that their constituents are safe. And with this, from the national government, they have the materials that they need."
Meantime, Valte also said it is the task of LGUs to ensure that residents are informed if their houses are built directly above or near fault lines.
The Palace also stressed the importance of passing the National Land Use and Management Act, which is expected to craft zoning standards and plan and manage the use of land resources.
Valte said the bill, included in the list of the administration's priority bills, is already in the advanced stage of legislation in the Lower House.