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Engineering Geological and Geohazard Assessment (EGGA) system for


sustainable infrastructure development: the Philippine experience

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Engineering Geology for Sustainable Development in Mountainous Areas, Free & Aydin (eds) ©2004 Geological Society of Hong Kong. ISBN 962 7320 07 2

Engineering Geological and Geohazard Assessment (EGGA) system for


sustainable infrastructure development: the Philippine experience
M.A. Aurelio
Urban Geology Section, Lands Geological Survey Division, Mines and Geosciences Bureau, North Avenue,
Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines, email: marioa@info.com.ph

EGGA Technical Working Group


Mines and Geosciences Bureau, North Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

ABSTRACT: The Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) issued Administra-
tive Order No. 28, series of 2000 (DENR AO 2000-28) on March 2000 as an institutional planning tool to
safeguard development projects from the hazards caused by geological phenomena. DENR AO 2000-28,
which requires all land development projects to undertake an Engineering Geological and Geohazard Assess-
ment (EGGA) as an additional requirement for Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) applications, was
designed to strengthen the geological component of the Philippine EIA system. The Philippine Mines and Geo-
sciences Bureau, as the implementing agency, issued Memorandum Circular (MC) 2000-33 to describe in detail
the guidelines and checklist in the conduct of an EGGA and the preparation of the corresponding report
(EGGAR). Subsequent orders and memorandums were issued to clarify and modify certain provisions of
DENR 2000-28 in response to developments in government policies and to address concerns raised by the
general public. On 24 October 2000, a DENR MC was issued to clarify the coverage of EGGA and the qualifi-
cations of an EGGAR preparer. A year later, Presidential Executive Order (EO) No. 45 was issued on 24 Oc-
tober 2001, mandating all DENR agencies involved in the issuance of housing-related certifications, permits
and clearances, to observe prescribed periods and provide appropriate mechanisms to fast track the approval
and implementation of housing projects. To implement EO 45, DENR issued an MC dated 26 November 2001.
The MGB for its part issued MGB MC 2002-43 on 18 February 2002 to establish guidelines relevant to EGGA
concerns in the implementation of EO 45.

1 INTRODUCTION 2000-28 as its long-term response to the urgent need


By reason of its geographic, geologic and tectonic of protecting lives and property from destruction
setting (Fig. 1), the Philippines is prone to several brought about by such geologic hazards.
geologic and natural hazards that include earth-
quakes, volcanic eruptions and major mass move-
1.1 The Philippine Environmental Impact Statement
ments. Of the more recent geologic events that have
caused enormous destruction to lives and property (EIS) System and the Environmental
are the earthquake of Luzon on 16 July 1990 and the Compliance Certificate (ECC)
eruption of Pinatubo Volcano on 13 June 1991. Both By virtue of Presidential Decree No. 1586, the Phil-
incidents have killed thousands of human lives and ippine Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) system
destroyed millions of dollars of property. Until that was established mainly to safeguard the environment
date, the Philippine government was still in dire need and natural resources of the country as it pursues in-
of an effective and legalized system to mitigate the dustrial and economic growth and development. Its
disastrous effects of such geologic processes.
Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR), issued
In August 1999, suburban Cherry Hills Subdivi-
sion located on a hilly section of Antipolo City ex- by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB)
perienced yet another disaster in which torrential took effect in 1997 to streamline and strengthen the
rains for 3 consecutive days triggered a landslide that EIS system, making it a better planning, management
cost the lives of over 50 people and rendered hun- and regulatory tool.
dreds more homeless. Despite exposing itself to criti- The Philippine EIS system requires all projects and
cism for putting up a rather reactionary stance, the undertakings categorized as Environmentally Critical
Philippine government proceeded to issue DENR AO Projects (ECPs) as well as those located in Environ-
mentally Critical Areas (ECAs) to secure an Envi-

33
ronmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) before their 2 EGGAR PROCEDURES AND OTHER
operation. ECPs include among others heavy indus- ISSUANCES
tries and infrastructure projects. ECAs include
among others areas frequently visited and/or hard hit 2.1 Procedural Flowchart
by natural calamities such as earthquakes, volcanic The guidelines of DENR AO 2000-28, issued as
activity and landslides. MGB Memorandum Circular No. 2000-33, stipulate
that the EGGA process requires a land development
project proponent to request the appropriate MGB
office for a site geological scoping survey (GSS).
This survey is aimed to determine the scope of geo-
logical study to be conducted in and around the site.
The project proponent then prepares an Engineering
Geological and Geohazard Assessment Report
(EGGAR) focusing on potential geologic hazards
that may have direct or indirect impact to the project,
and their appropriate mitigating measures. The
EGGAR undergoes a technical review by an MGB
panel (TRC) afterwhich a revision may be made be-
fore the report is evaluated and finally endorsed to
the Environment Management Bureau (EMB) for
consideration in the issuance of the ECC. For private
projects, the EGGA is conducted by a privately prac-
ticing geologist or qualified engineer while for gov-
ernment projects, the EGGA may be performed by a
government geologist or qualified engineer under a
Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). (Fig. 2 EGGA
Flowchart)

Private Gvernment
MOA
Proponent
Figure 1. Tectonic map of the Philippines. The archipelago is
surrounded by active subduction zones giving rise to frequent
GSS GSS
tectonic earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and mass movements.

1.2 The Rationale of an Engineering Geological EGGA EGGA


and Geohazard Assessment (EGGA)
Although already built-in in the EIS system, the rec-
Review
ognition of geologic hazards in the Philippines have, Review

for some time remained undervalued by land devel-


opers and planners, project proponents and the gen-
EGGAR Endorsement
eral public. More often, the importance of under-
Revision
standing these geological events is recognized only
after a dramatic and devastating incident has already
occurred, thus defeating the entire purpose of pro- Final
tecting lives and property. To therefore address this
inefficiency, DENR AO 2000-28 was issued with the
intention of adequately and comprehensively address- Endorsement
ing and mitigating the possible effects and impacts of
geologic hazards. This order requires that as an addi- Figure 2. EGGA Flowchart. See text for discussion.
tional requirement in the application for an ECC, all
proponents of subdivision development projects,
housing projects and other land development and in- 2.2 Subsequent Issuances
frastructure projects, private or public, shall under- Subsequent memorandums were issued to clarify and
take an Engineering Geological and Geohazard As- modify certain provisions of DENR 2000-28 in re-
sessment (EGGA). sponse to recent developments in government poli-
cies and public inquiry. On 24 October 2000, a

34
DENR Memorandum Circular was issued to clarify 3.1.1 Earthquake-related Hazards
the coverage of EGGA and the qualifications of an Special attention is given to earthquake-related haz-
EGGAR preparer. Exactly a year later, Executive ards in view of the very active tectonic setting of the
Order No. 45 was issued on 24 October 2001, man- Philippine archipelago.
dating all DENR agencies involved in the issuance of
housing-related certifications, permits and clearances, 3.1.1.1Ground Rupture
to observe prescribed periods and provide appropri- At the moment, a standard requirement for infra-
ate mechanisms to fast track the approval and im- structure projects is a certification from the Philip-
plementation of housing projects. To implement EO pine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology
45, DENR issued a Memorandum Circular on 26 (PHIVLOCS) defining the closest distance separating
November 2001, followed by the issuance of the im- a project site and the nearest mapped active fault.
plementing guidelines relevant to EGGA contained in This certification serves as the basis of determining a
MGB MC 2002-43. (Fig. 2) buffer zone for the possible occurrence of fissures
and ruptures that may be brought about by an earth-
quake.
2.3 Urban Geology Units A. Geologic Hazard B. Hydrologic Hazard
1. Fault related/Seismic hazards 1. Fluvial
DENR 2000-28 mandated the creation of urban ge- a. ground acceleration a. Flooding (Overflow)
b. ground rupture b. Flooding (Sheetflow, con-
ology units in all the regional offices of the MGB. To c. liquefaction centrated run-off)
date, these units are deeply engaged in the implemen- d. differential settlement c. Scouring of riverbed
tation of the EGGA system. In addition to this func- e. landslides d. Channel erosion and migra-
f. fault creep tion
tion however, these units are also mandated to con- g. lateral spread e. Rill erosion
duct other geological studies relevant to planning and h. tsunami f. Gully erosion
i. seiches g. Sedimentation
development of urban areas (e.g. assessment of water 2. Mass Movement 2. Coastal Hazards
resources, siting of landfill areas, etc.). a. Landslides a. Flooding
a.1. Fall b. Coastal erosion
a.2. Topple c. Coastal aggradation
a.3. Slump d. Storm surge
3 EGGAR COMPONENTS a.4. Slide e. Coastal subsidence/sea
a.5. Spread level rise
Hazards are categorized according to the nature of a.6. Flow f. Submarine landslide
the phenomenon that brings about them. Hazards a.7. Complex
b. Creep C. Others
caused by subsurface geological processes including c. Subsidence a. Air-borne
groundwater movements are classified as Geologic d. Settlement b. Cosmic
Hazards, while those initiated by surface water ac- 3. Volcanic Hazards
a. Lava flow
tion are classified as Hydrologic Hazards. Certain b. Debris flow
hazards which are not entirely caused by geological c. Pyroclastic flow
d. Debris avalanche
phenomena such as sand dune formation (wind- e. Lahar
borne) and flooding (rain-induced) are also given ap- f. Lateral blast and pyroclas-
tic surge
propriate attention. g. Bombs and ballistic pro-
jectiles
h. Ash fall
3.1 Geologic Hazards i. Tsunami
j. Flooding
Geologic hazards include all hazards entirely or k. Volcanic gases
l. Volcanic earthquakes
partly caused by processes that take place in the sub-
Table 1. General list of hazards considered in the EGGA
surface of the earth. They are further classified into
Earthquake- or Seismic-related, Mass Movements,
3.1.1.2Ground Shaking
and Volcanic Hazards. Hydrologic Hazards on the
The existing National Building Code of the Philip-
other hand are classified in Fluvial for those gener-
pines (NBCP, 2000) identifies 2 seismic zones in the
ated by processes on-land, and Coastal for those oc-
archipelago corresponding to seismic factors 0.2 and
curring at the sea interface. Table 1 enumerates the
0.4. Although building design parameters such as
subclassifications of each of these hazards. Not in-
building height are strictly regulated, it has been ob-
cluded in this list are hazards which may be gener-
served from recent incidents that other parameters
ated with the influence of non-geological processes
may be underestimated such as values for seismic
such as wind action (sand dunes), rainfall (flooding),
factors. So with the devastating effects of recent
lightning and other meteorological disturbances, as
earthquakes, some local government units, through
well as those that may be effected by interplanetary
their engineering offices, have taken the initiative of
interactions (e.g. meteor impacts) and other cosmic
further adopting a more conservative stance by limit-
phenomenon (e.g. ozone layer depletion). Such haz-
ing building height. In the mountainous city of Ba-
ards may also be taken into consideration in the
guio for example, building height has been limited to
assessment of a project site as necessary.

35
six storeys above ground since the Ms 7.8 earth-
quake of Luzon in 1990. This was in response to a
recommendation developed from the observation that where Tcr is the Critical Shear Stress for Liquefac-
most of the collapsed buildings during the earthquake tion, determined by the parameters ódc/2óa50 (stress
were over six floors high. Efforts are being under- ratio), ó’ (effective stress), Cr (reduction factor as a
taken to revise some provisions of the NBCP espe- function of relative density Dr. Liquefaction starts to
cially on the aspect of seismic effects. occur when an earthquake achieves a magnitude ca-
The PHIVOLCS certification is also used as basis
a max
for the estimation of deterministic, and if necessary, Tav = 0.65 * rd * γ s * h *
probabilistic ground acceleration values. In the ab- g
sence of an attenuation relation derived from actual pable of producing a value of amax/g that equals that
Philippine earthquakes, the equation developed by calculated by equating Tcr and Tav (Huismann, 2000).
Fukushima and Tanaka in 1990 is recommended for
deterministic calculations. This equation is preferred  σ  D
over others, considering the similarity of the tectonic Tcr =  dc  * σ '*Cr * r
structures present (and their earthquake behavior -  2σ a 50  50
mostly subduction zone- and strike-slip fault-related)
in Japan and the Philippines. The relation is written 3.1.1.4 Others
as: Other earthquake-related phenomenon that should
also be given importance in the hazard assessment of
log10 A = 0.41 M - log10 (R + 0.032 * 100.41 M) - 0.0034 R + 1.30 a project site include lateral spread, fault creep,
creep, landslides, tsunamis and seiches.
where A is the peak ground acceleration in cm/s2,
R is the shortest distance from the project site and to 3.1.2 Mass Movements
the closest known active fault in km, and M is the Mass movements are also a common cause of infra-
magnitude of an earthquake that may be generated by structure damage in the Philippines. The Cherry Hills
that fault. Subdivision Landslide in 1999 which took the lives of
Efforts are currently being pursued for the estab- over 50 persons and rendering hundreds of families
lishment of an attenuation relation derived directly homeless in suburban Manila (Fig. 3), served as a
from actual Philippine earthquakes. wake up call to housing developers on the necessity
For probabilistic ground acceleration estimates, of conducting geologic hazard assessment prior to
values derived in a study by Thenhaus, et al. (1994) development. Although the Philippine geoscientific
suffice for preliminary estimates. However, more community had long been crying out to authorities
site-specific probabilistic determinations may be per- the need for the conduct of geologic hazard assess-
formed for projects of major importance such as ment prior to development, it was only after the
large dams and bridges, elevated highways, major air tragic event of Cherry Hills that government finally
and seaports, and the like. made a firm resolve in issuing DENR DAO 2000-33.

3.1.1.3 Liquefaction.
Damage to infrastructure in Dagupan, a city
founded on delta and beach deposits, during the Lu-
zon 1990 earthquake was essentially due to liquefac-
tion. The fact that the area is more than 100 km from
the epicenter suggests the necessity of liquefaction
potential assessment even in areas far away from po-
tential earthquake generators. Suggested methods to
adopt at the preliminary level are those by Seed et al.
(1983). Projects requiring more analysis are recom-
mended to employ relations taking into account cy-
clic and shear stresses, predicted ground acceleration
and the geotechnical properties of subsurface mate-
rial as determined from borehole tests. The preferred
procedure is to determine the Average Cyclic Shear Figure 3. Aftermath of the 1999 Cherry Hills Subdivision
Stress Tav, given the parameters rd (reduction factor Landslide in hilly sub-urban Metro Manila.
on soil profile), ãs (total unit weight of soil) and
amax/g (maximum ground acceleration value relative 3.1.2.1 Slope Stability
to the acceleration due to gravity), using the relation: One major reason why slope failure in the Philip-
pines is very common is the apparent neglect to
then equating it to the relation: stabilize steep slopes that are either existing naturally
36
bilize steep slopes that are either existing naturally or 3.1.3 Volcanic Hazards
created by human activity. At the regional scale, the The experience during the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo
suggested slope classification is based on a model in 1991 is considered by some disaster management
adopted by the US Department of Agriculture which experts to be a success story in disaster preparedness
considers slopes greater than 18% to be prone to and management. Despite being touted as one of the
landslides. The procedure may be performed by pro- most disastrous eruptions in the 20th century, the
ducing a digital terrain model from digitized topog- number of casualties was relatively small, thanks to
raphic maps of 1:50,000 to 1:250,000 scale. A slope the efficient volcanic prediction collaborative efforts
map is then constructed employing the formula: between local authorities, the Philippine Institute of
Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) in par-
Slope = 57.29578 * ATAN (SQRT(dtmdx * dtmdx + dtmdy * dtmdy) * 100 /(10) ticular, and foreign scientific institutions such as the
United States Geological Survey (USGS). The key to
where: 57.29578 is the conversion factor from de- this efficient disaster management was the timely
grees to radians, dtmdx and dtmdy are the raster identification of critical areas that needed evacuation
maps resulting from filtering the DTM in the x and y based on earlier delineation of areas that would be af-
directions respectively, 10 is pixel size in meters on fected by the different volcanic deposits once the
the ground. Areas within a designated buffer zone on volcano erupted. This same procedure is what the
the break in slope (i.e. between less than and greater EGGA requires in projects identified to be potentially
than 18%) may be initially classified as slide-prone. affected by volcanic activity. Areas are zoned
At a more detailed scale, determination of the Fac- according to the degree of volcanic risk they may be
tor of Safety Fs is given emphasis, especially in areas subjected to. Volcanic hazards given attention to in
which have already been classified as slide-prone in this classification include possible routes of lava
the initial regional analysis. Whenever available, sub- flows, lahars, debris and pyroclastic flows, lateral
surface data from drilling and shallow pitting are in- blast and pyroclastic surge materials, as well as the
corporated in the final analysis of the stability of the potential extent to be affected by volcanic bombs,
material. ballistic projectiles, ash fall and gas emissions. Water
More complex analysis is recommended in hilly ar- hazards related to volcanic eruptions such as tsuna-
eas that are also determined to be prone to earth- mis and floods are also taken into consideration.
quake hazards.

3.1.2.2 Creep 3.2 Hydrologic Hazards


Essentially because of the hilly nature of many Hazards caused by processes involving surface flow
parts of the country, creep is very common in the of water are classified as hydrologic hazards. The as-
Philippines. A slope map coupled with lithologic and sessment of these types of hazards requires evaluat-
bore-hole log information normally suffices for an ing other natural phenomenon such as meteorological
initial assessment of a certain slope for its potential disturbances. Considered parameters include typhoon
for creep. Otherwise, direct pieces of evidence such paths, monsoons and precipitation data.
as tilted trees and bench scarps provide more con-
vincing arguments. 3.2.1 Fluvial Hazards
Hazards induced by surface water processes oc-
3.1.2.3 Subsidence and settlement curring along inland waterways, natural such as riv-
In relatively flat areas, the common manifestations ers streams and gullies, or man-made such as flood-
of mass movements in the Philippines are in the form ways, canals, and other pre-designed drainage
of general subsidence and differential settlement. systems, are classified as fluvial. These hazards in-
These movements are usually observed in naturally clude among others flood overflow, sheet flow, riv-
occurring recent deposits or in poorly compacted erbed scouring, channel erosion and migration, rill
back-filled areas such as in housing development and gully erosion.
sites which commonly adopt a cut-and-fill practice to
increase the area of saleable lots. To determine effec- 3.2.2 Coastal Hazards
tive measures to remedy problems caused by these Hazards induced by surface water processes oc-
vertical movements, geotechnical drilling to at least curring at and near (about 200m off- and on-shore)
characterize the physical index parameters of subsur- the coastline are considered as coastal. These include
face materials is recommended. More detailed geo- coastal flooding, erosion, aggradation, storm surges
technical analysis is suggested for infrastructure re- and near-coast sub-marine landslides. Sea level
quiring foundation excavations deeper than 3.5 changes (rise and fall) have recently been studied es-
meters. pecially in areas where uplift and subsidence rates
appear to be too rapid to be explained alone by sea
level changes established from worldwide observa-
tions. In the Philippines, such rapid processes may be

37
explained in terms of sea level changes combined the type of subsurface. A significant observation of
with fast tectonic vertical movements such as those the study is that landslides do not necessarily appear
occurring near subduction and collision zones. to be related to steep slopes as majority of the land-
slides did not occur on steep slopes. On the other
hand, most of the landslides documented during the
3.3 Other Hazards
July 1990 earthquake and in other incidents were ob-
In the northwestern part of the Philippines, sand dune served at a distance within 500 meters from a large
formation is actively operating over several tens of fault or along road excavations. These observations
kilometers from the coast to as far as more than 10 point to the importance of taking into consideration
km inland. Since most settlements in the country both natural and anthropogenic causes in the evalua-
converge along coastal areas, the impact of this and tion of the susceptibility for landslides of a certain
other air-induced geologic processes to population area, mountainous or not.
and infrastructure is also very significant.
The hazards due to falling extra-terrestrial objects Figure 4. Geohazard Map established from a GIS-based multi-
source analysis. Adopted from Villanueva et al. (in prep.)
such as meteorites may also be assessed as required
by specialized projects. However, it is recognized
that that the probability of such hazards is generally
much smaller than those produced by earth proc- 5 CONCLUDING REMARKS
esses, and that the degree of confidence in evaluating
them is very much influenced by a complex set of pa- DENR AO 2000-28, issued in March 2000, and all
rameters. relevant issuances thereafter, solicited mixed reac-
tions from the scientific and industry sectors. The
geoscientific community, generally backed by the
4 CASE STUDY IN A MOUNTAINOUS AREA: academe and government research institutes, appear
BAGUIO CITY to have gained an upper hand in finally being able to
influence, albeit partly, policy makers in environ-
Briefly presented in this chapter is a case study in a mental risk protection management through the im-
mountainous area in the Philippines. Baguio City, an plementation of EGGA as an additional requirement
urban area located at an average altitude of about in the application for an ECC in any developmental
1500m above sea level, is characterized by rugged project. As such, this policy provides an opportunity
terrain. Fig. 4 shows a geohazard map of the region to strengthen the previously undervalued geologic
focused on landslide susceptibility by Villanueva et hazard assessment component of the Philippine EIS
al. (in prep.) established from a GIS-based multi- system. On the other hand, certain groups from the
source analysis. Among the map parameters consid- construction and real estate business find this re-
ered are topography, lithology, geologic structures quirement as redundant and a further lengthening of
and vegetation. Added input information include ac- the permitting process for development projects.
tual locations of landslides and known karstic re- With this concern, the Philippine government, in dis-
gions. Computed values include slope gradient and cussion with different stakeholders, is pursuing ef-
peak ground acceleration normalized according to forts to streamline the entire process through the
possible full integration of EGGA into the EIS sys-
tem for the purpose of further crafting a more effi-
cient and sustainable permitting system in urban de-
velopment.

6 REFERENCES

DENR AO 2000-28. Implementing guidelines on En-


gineering Geological and Geohazard Assessment
(EGGA) as additional requirement for ECC ap-
plications covering subdivision, housing and other
land development and infrastructure projects.
Administrative Order No. 28, Series of 2000.
Department of Environment and Natural Resour-
ces, Philippines. 14 March 2000.
DENR AO 2003-30. Implementing Rules and Regu-
lations (IRR) for the Philippine Environmental
Impact Statement (EIS) System . Administrative
Order No. 30, Series of 2003. Department of En-

38
vironment and Natural Resources, Philippines. 30
June 2003.
Fukushima, Y. and Tanaka, T., 1990. A new attenua-
tion relation for peak horizontal acceleration of
strong earthquake ground motion in Japan, Bul-
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Huismann, M. 2000. Lecture Notes, Advanced Soil
Mechanics, Mapua Institute of Technology, Ma-
nila.
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for the preparation of an Engineering Geological
and Geohazard Assessment Report (EGGAR) as
per DENR AO 2000-28. Memorandum Circular
No. 33, Series of 2000. Mines and Geosciences
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Memorandum dated 26 Novemebr 2001 relative
to Executive Order No. 45. Memorandum Circu-
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39
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