The Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. IV CALABARZON attended the 31st National Statistics Month Webinar Lecture Series on October 19, 2020, via Zoom Video Conferencing Application. The event was organized by the Philippine Statistical System and spearheaded by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). Other participants of the event were the other agencies within the DENR such as the PENROs, CENROs, DENR Regional Offices, etc.

The first speaker, Engr. Josephine R. Billiones from the National Water Resources Board (NWRB), talked about the Status of Philippine Water Resources. Some of the topics she talked about were studies that show the declining water availability and the key issues and challenges that the Philippines is facing regarding water resources. The NWRB continues to regulate all water resources in the country (except those regulated by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) and the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA). Lately, the NWRB has conducted a comprehensive water resources assessment in some regions in the country.

The second speaker was Ms. Rosal H. Dolonas from the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA), who presented the COVID Map App, which tracks and visualizes the pandemic numbers in the Philippines. The project increases data availability, reference/fundament data, and interoperability. It also displays common geographies and integrates statistics and geography subject to privacy and confidentiality, and metadata. Through this project, the NAMRIA is committed to advance the use of geospatial information and related technology.

The mining industry was represented by Engr. Rolando M. Fernandez, Engineer IV from the Mining Tenements Management Division of the MGB Central Office (MGB CO). He spoke about making digital mining tenements information available in an extreme circumstance like in a pandemic such as COVID-19. He first explained the existing Mining Tenement Systems Architecture, which is centered on the Online System (website) and a Legacy System. Data in the Online System consists of data inputted from the Mapping System and the Reportorial Database System. The Mineral Rights Management System (MRMS) was also expounded. Here, each regional system, this Office included, updates and submits an extracted database monthly to the MGB CO. The said system is still maintained as mandated by policy and provides valuable archive data on previous mining tenements not recorded in new systems such as the Mining Tenements Statistics Reports (MTSR) and the GIS Mapping System.

Engr. Fernandez then talked about the impacts of COVID-19 on the MGB. Some of the negative impacts of the pandemic were the “No Contact Policy,” and the canceled/modified fieldwork. Some of the positive impacts, however, were the use of productivity and communication tools such as video conferencing applications (i.e. Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Google Meet), and the minimization of expenses from training and fieldwork.

Lastly, the following strategies that the MGB is adopting for a Pandemic System were presented:

  • Harmonization of data collection from the Regional Offices using Microsoft Teams;
  • Implementation of the MRMS Validation/Maintenance;
  • Simplification of the MTSR, and its modification to have a more detailed mining tenement information presentation;
  • Implementation of the National Mining Tenement Map, which provides an integrated map of all the Regional Mining Tenement Maps; and,
  • Continuation of the development/enhancement of the Online Mineral Rights System addressing the issues from its previous development.

The MGB is currently working on an MRMS Component System, the Online Mineral Rights Management System (OMRMS). First, the OMRMS enhances information support through a Helpdesk, where users can forward their issues/complaints during its operationalization. Next, con

The last speaker of the event was Nelson Levi M. Lantican from the DENR – Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (DENR – ERDB). Mr. Lantican discussed the Biomass and Carbon Sequestration of Four Economically Important Bamboo Species in the Philippines as an effect of climate change on the bamboo biomass.

With these topics presented, the DENR agencies can work on better data management particularly during the pandemic, and create better systems for the New Normal.

Resource Speakers of the National Statistics Month Webinar 2020.

by: Engr. Patrizia S. Benedicto                     |            19 October 2020