The Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. XIII attended the 2023 Geoscience Workshop on February 20 to 24, 2023 at the Sequoia Hotel in Quezon City.

With the theme Cultivating a Culture of Progressive and Synergistic Implementation of Geoscience Programs: Sustaining a Legacy of Excellence, the blended workshop was attended by Division Chiefs, Section Chiefs and Geologists of Geoscience Division from the MGB Central Office and the Regional Offices. The virtual participants attended the workshop via Microsoft Teams.

The workshop started with the Opening Remarks of Ms. Liza Socorro J. Manzano, Chief Geologist of Lands Geological Survey Division (LGSD).  On a special note, Engr. Nonita S. Caguioa, DENR Assistant Secretary for Finance, Information Systems and Mining Concerns, and Dr. Carlos Primo C. David, DENR Undersecretary for Integrated Environmental Science and Supervising Undersecretary for the River Basin Control Office, graced the opening program.  Asec. Caguioa gave an Inspirational Message while Usec. David delivered the Keynote Speech.

The first day of the workshop featured the following presentations: House Rules and Workshop Mechanics by Mr. Julius Vincent P. Umali, Senior Geologist; Accomplishments of the MGB Geosciences Programs for 2022 by Ms. Manzano;  Year 2023-2028 Road Map for Lands Geosciences (including Learning and Development Plans and Proposed Information System Strategic Plan/ISSP for Year 2024-2026) by Mr. Kevin L. Garas, Senior Geologist;  Mining Application and Permitting Process by Engr. Princess Lara Diana C. Bambilla, Engineer III; Technical Consultant Policies, Protocols and Concerns on Engineering Geological and Geohazard Assessment Report (EGGAR) and Environmentally Critical Areas (ECA) by Engr. Jose Paolo Agoncillo, Senior Environmental Management Specialist from DENR-Environmental Management Bureau; Enhancement on Landslide and Karst Subsidence Susceptibility Mapping by Mr. Aquila Kristian B. Esmeralda; Flood Hazard Models via OpenLISEM by Ms. Nikka Rae N. Tosoc; and Overview of 3D Geological Modelling Software: SKUA-GOCAD by Mr. Nelson Angelo P. Romero, Geologist II.

The Parallel Sessions were carried out on the second day of the workshop wherein simultaneous activities and presentations were discussed. In Parallel Session 1, the following presentations were given: Plenary Recap and National Geologic Quadrangle Mapping Program (NGQMP) by Mr. Edrian M. Tubalado, Geologist II; Results and Updates on the Technical Review of Geologic Maps in Regions III, IV-CALABARZON and V by Mr. Kevin Bien D. Tee, Senior Geologist; Existing Faults and Volcanic Complexes in the Philippines by Mr. Danikko John V. Rivera, Senior Science Research Specialist from DOST-Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology; and NGQMP – Strategic Directions: Areas of Focus, Goals and Objectives, and Ways Forward by Dr. Maybellyn A. Zepeda, Chief Geologist.  In Parallel Session 2, the discussions focused on the National Groundwater Resources and Vulnerability Assessment Program (NGRVAP) by Ms. Marnette B. Puthenpuekal, Senior Science Research Specialist. Part of the presentations was the updates on NGRVAP Implementation.  It was followed by a presentation on the Solid Waste Management Policies on Sanitary Landfill (SLF) by Ms. Juvinia P. Serafin, OIC-Chief of Solid Waste Management Division of the Environmental Management Bureau.  In Parallel Session 3, the discussions and presentations were all about the Geological Laboratory Services.  There was also a presentation on Roadmap for the Geological Laboratory in Central Office and Regional Offices and Standardized Reporting of Usage of Newly-acquired Equipment by Mr. Kevin L. Garas, Senior Geologist.

The continuing discussions in parallel sessions carried on during the third day of the workshop. In Parallel Session 1, the topics centered on the National Mineral Reservation Program (NMRP).  Part of the session comprised the presentations of Regional Offices on the updates of NMRP as well as the proposed and existing Mineral Reservations. In Parallel Session 2, the discussions were all about the Geohazard Services, Hazard Mapping and Operation Center. The following presentations were given at the session:  Citizen’s Charter: Geohazard Services by Mr. Kevin L. Garas, Senior Geologist; National Geohazard Assessment Mapping Program (NGAMP) Indicators and Rating Criteria and Transition to Hazard Maps: Methodology, Inventory and Fast Tracking by Mr. Julius Vincent P. Umali, Senior Geologist;  Urban Geology: Resurgence and International Collaboration by Ms. Marie Krystel D. Hugo, Senior Geologist; and Streaming MGB Operations Center by Ms. Michelle Grace Angela M. Villarosa, Senior Geologist.  In addition, Parallel Session 3 tackled the Gender and Development (GAD) Workshop.  Part of the session was the presentations of Regional Offices on the 2024 GAD Plan and Budget.

The Parallel Sessions continued on the fourth day of the workshop. Parallel Session 1 revolved around the continuing discussions about the NMRP. Presentations on the following topics were also given: Strengthening Environmental Resources Mapping Methodology by Mr. Brian Matthew M. Flores, Geologist and Mineral Resources Validation Process Flow and Methodology by Ms. Bernadette M. Buladaco, Geologist II. The topics discussed in Parallel Session 2 were the VRA/Updating: Intensive Information, Education and Communication (IEC) Campaign; Separation of Rain-induced Landslides and Flood Map by Ms. Ruth C. Madrideo, Geologist II; Advancing IEC for Geohazard Programs: Feedback and Expansion by Ms. Marie Krystel D. Hugo, Senior Geologist; and Karst Subsidence Hazard Assessment – Universe, Technical Issues and Concern and Technical Discussion by Mr. Ross Dominic D. Agot, Geologist II.  In Parallel Session 3, the National Implementation of Geosciences Programs was discussed at length and an open forum on Administrative, Financial, Planning and Policy Matters ensued.

On the fifth day of the workshop, the plenary sessions and continuing presentations of the participants took place. Updates on National Committee on Geological Sciences: Milestones and Future Directions by Mr. Leopoldo T. Virtucio, Senior Science Research Specialist; Guidelines on the Establishment of GeoParks by Ms. Beverly Mae M. Brebante, Chief Geologist of MGB Regional Office No. XI; and Overview: Competent Person Accreditation by Mr. Joey Nelson R. Ayson, President of Geological Society of the Philippines were presented. The activity officially ended with the Closing Message of Usec. David and the announcement of the 2024 Geoscience Workshop venue by Dr. Zepeda which will be held in MIMAROPA Region.


Senior Geologist