Itogon town to undergo geohazard assessment

BAGUIO CITY — The mining town of Itogon in Benguet is set to undergo a thorough geological assessment and evaluation, months after it was hit by landslides due to torrential rains brought by Typhoon Ompong last year.

In an interview on Monday, Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan expressed appreciation to the Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC) for approving their request for a geological assessment.

“We are thankful that they acted on it positively. We need the result as soon as possible so that we will be guided with what we need to do to help our constituents,” Palangdan said.

The study would determine the geohazard situation of the town, one of the hardest-hit areas during the onslaught of “Ompong”. On Sept. 15, 2018, scores were killed in a major landslide that hit the small-scale mining community of Barangay Ucab.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau earlier declared a large portion of Itogon as unsafe, uninhabitable and within the “no-build” zones. These areas are Barangays Luneta, Loacan, Ucab, Ampucao and Gumatdang.

Six elementary schools, a national high school and several evacuation centers were also identified to be in areas highly-susceptible to hazards.

The Itogon town council passed Resolution 427-2018 on Nov. 27 requesting the RDC to facilitate the conduct of a thorough geological assessment earlier declared by the MGB as critical areas and no build zones. Liza Agoot/