June 9, 2020 | Online
The GSP conducted its third webinar on June 09, 2020. The talk was given by Dr. Bayani Cardenas, Professor at the Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin. His talk on "Groundwater and surface water as a single resource - some examples from the Philippines” highlighted the high rates of submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) in Philippine coastal waters. He presented their team’s investigation on SGD in Pangasinan and Batangas utilizing electrical resistivity methods, groundwater flow simulations, radon isotope tracers and measurements of pCO2, salinity and temperature.
Their results suggest that SGD may extend offshore through faults and fractures and exit through openings that are either directly open to the sea or buried under sea bottom sediments. They also suggested the role of volcanic degassing of CO2 in Batangas as driving the release of CO2 bubbles in the sea bottom.
Dr. Cardenas emphasized that groundwater interacting with coastal waters can affect delicate coastal ecosystems and marine biodiversity in the country. As a note, the Philippine archipelago has the 6th longest coastline in the world. With this information, Dr. Cardenas highlighted the need to consider groundwater-coastal water interaction in managing coastal resources.
Below is the link to the video recording of the webinar: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=799852050548040
May 26, 2020 | Online
The Geological Society of the Philippines conducted its second webinar on May 26, 2020 with Dr. Teofilo Abrajano Jr. as the guest speaker. Dr. Abrajano is the director of the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia. The following are the highlights of his talk on “Geoscience in a Post-COVID-19 world: A Perspective.”
(1) The concept of foresight and active resiliency was presented as important in this time of COVID-19 pandemic. This concept looks into understanding the drivers of risk from which strategies and outcomes may be formulated to benefit the communities and from which challenges and opportunities may also be identified.
(2) Potential features of a post-COVID-19 world include statistical results showing the negative impacts of the pandemic and COVID-19 global outlook that features the presence of risks arising from prolonged recession, geopolitics, and accelerated technology adoption among others. In a post-COVID-19 world, every business is a health business. More so, it necessitates reinvention of authority among others.
(3) The pre-COVID-19 situation of the geosciences plays around the following major considerations: (a) understanding the complex Earth systems; (b) reducing vulnerability and sustaining life; (c) sustainable resource utilization and; (d) growing the geoscience workforce. With the pandemic, granular trends in addressing issues that impact the human life (e.g. geohazards, health-related) can either be accelerated or decelerated.
(4) With the pandemic, emerging trends in the activities and opportunities for the geosciences arise. These include (a) identifying the “geo-impact” to human health; (b) having an interface between geology and biology/microbiology and (c) dwelling on real-time observations and big data analytics among others. The resource sector has also been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, both positively and negatively. The precious metals and base metals have so far performed well, in contrast to the crude and natural gas sectors which have suffered a downward market trend during this time of pandemic.
(5) With the pandemic, foresight would be a prolonged recession or another pandemic occurring. This, however, should be taken also as an opportunity for the geosciences, bearing in mind the considerations during the pre-COVID-19 situation as outlined above.
Below is the link to the video recording of the webinar: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=252058229443102
May 14, 2020 | Online
The Geological Society of the Philippines hosted the first online panel discussion entitled “Geosciences in the new normal” last May 14, 2020. Speakers from the academe (Dr. Mario Aurelio, NIGS), government (Ms. Liza Juanico-Manzano, MGB) and industry (Mr. Joey Ayson, PMEA) were invited to talk about plans, adjustments and innovations made, and opportunities arising from the “new normal.” This event brought together 137 participants from the Philippines and other countries.
The salient points brought up during the panel discussion are as follows:
(1) The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted to the institution of additional safety guidelines/procedures and other safeguards in all sectors. These include (a) instituting alternative work schemes for all employees such as provision for virtual section meeting from home and creation of a skeletal work force), and (b) transitioning to online modes of learning and teaching which may require modifying the course syllabus and course program curriculum. Teaching field and laboratory courses, however, remain a challenge.
(2) With the “new normal”, activities in all geoscience sectors need to be either modified or be fully suspended for safety concerns. These include (a) offering academic courses that require fieldwork or OJT to a later date, (b) offering geology board review classes online, (c) suspending laboratory services in both the academe and the government, (d) limiting or canceling all fieldworks (e.g. research related, government-related programs, mine exploration work) and attendance to local and foreign trainings, and (e) suspending CPD requirements for the renewal of license until 2021.
(3) The cancelation or suspension of some activities has led to: (a) the realignment of budget (e.g. for research to fund government’s COVID-related efforts), and (b) the reduction of outputs or deliverables for ongoing projects.
(4) Given the high metal price, the mining industry is in the best position among the sectors in the geosciences to help the government in its economic recovery efforts. This provides an opportunity for the mining industry to promote itself. It was proposed that a road map be drafted (by mine sector representatives, with the participation of the GSP) as to how mining will be able to help the government in its recovery programs in the new normal.
(5) Amidst the COVID situation, procedural requirements (e.g. processing of permits, certificates and other documents) are still being done by government agencies. Documents (e.g. mine-related) submitted by different stakeholders are still being received by the government offices (e.g. MGB Central and regional offices) as well. The geology board examination this year will be held as scheduled. Changes have happened due to the pandemic and we expect more changes to happen. We will adapt to the situation and we will exert all efforts to adapt quickly to the new normal and parameters. The GSP will continue to provide service and compassion as we strive towards resiliency for the profession and its members in a post-COVID world.
February 13, 2020 | Batangas
A few days after Taal volcano erupted, the Geological Society of the Philippines sent out a call for donations to help the evacuees and displaced families. In just about one week, members, friends and other organizations responded to our call. We coordinated with the PSWDO of Batangas and the Association of Barangay Captains in Laurel to ask what items the evacuees needed.
On February 13, 2020, GSP together with NIGS, PHIVOLCS, UPLB-SESAM delivered plastic storage boxes, school supplies, shovels, rice and cooking items to Bgy. Minalin, Ibaan and Poblacion 2, Laurel. At Ibaan, we gave plastic storage boxes, vegetables and school supplies/bags to 150 families and 160 pre-school/grade school and 88 high school students. In Laurel, we turned over 20 shovels to the Association of Barangay Captains and 15 vegetable packs. We also provided rice, cooking oil, vinegar and toyo packs to 300 families. Ericson Bariso of PHIVOLCS also gave a short lecture on volcanoes and volcanic hazards to school children and barangay officials in the two evacuation centers.
- Carla B. Dimalanta, D.Sc. (GSP President)
February 7, 2020 | Astoria Plaza, Ortigas
The Geological Society of the Philippines would like to thank our partners and sponsors who joined us last night at the Annual Dinner and Oathtaking of the 2020 Trustees, Officers and Committee Chairs. The induction was held on February 7, 2020 with Dr. Elmer B. Billedo, member of the Board of Geology, as the inducting officer.