Undoubtedly, virtual meetings, conferences, and seminars have started to become the norm given the recent events brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although remarkably challenging, it has provided an opportunity to employ new ways to communicate ideas, increase inclusivity, and usher accessibility through a digital platform. This year’s Geoscience Workshop is no different as it readily embraced the shift towards the virtual format. This annual gathering of geologists, Geographic Information System (GIS) specialists, and chemists from the Lands Geological Survey Division (LGSD) of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau–Central Office (MGB–CO) and the Geosciences Division (GSD) of the Regional Offices serves as an avenue to foster camaraderie among colleagues and to discuss, standardize, and update the methodologies of the various projects and activities of the MGB, namely: 1) National Geohazard Assessment and Mapping Program, 2) National Geologic Quadrangle Mapping Program, 3) National Groundwater Resource and Vulnerability Assessment, and 4) National Mineral Reservation Program. It is also the primary venue for geologists to form comprehensive agreements and share their knowledge on innovative research and possibly local and international collaborations.
The 2021 Geoscience Workshop was held on February 15–19, 2021 via Microsoft Teams. Dr. Maybellyn A. Zepeda, Officer-in-Charge of LGSD, extended her warm welcome to all the workshop participants. She commended everyone who was steadfast in carrying out the projects and activities despite the ongoing threat of the pandemic. She also underscored the immense demand for robust geoscientific data, especially during this time. Hence, she believes that we should continue to strengthen and capacitate the geologists by conducting more training like this in the future.
Atty. Wilfredo G. Moncano, MGB Director, also graced the event by giving an inspirational message. He acknowledged the difficult year that has passed adapting to the new normal while continuing to render services to the Filipino people. He likewise praised the emergency response of the MGB during the onslaught of Typhoons Quinta, Rolly, and Ulysses which adversely affected millions of Filipinos across several regions in the country. Lastly, he ensures everyone that our hurdles are just temporary and we will all come out stronger after this pandemic.
In the latter part of the workshop, parallel sessions were conducted for the four programs of LGSD. Several resource persons were also invited to impart their knowledge in their respective fields of expertise. Discussions and lectures during these sessions resulted in the formulation of new method guidelines, creation of the Technical Review Panel for the different LGSD programs, and agreements on several issues and concerns.
Finally, Engr. Roland A. De Jesus, MGB Assistant Director and Concurrent Regional Director of Region IV-MIMAROPA, formally closed the event by appreciating everyone’s effort in making this year’s Geoscience Workshop a success. He emphasized that the unity and cooperation among CO and RO geologists is the key for successful Geoscience Program’s implementation. He is optimistic that the geoscientific community remains to be a valuable asset to the MGB.
(Upper left) Group photo session during the virtual workshop; (Upper right) Opening Remarks by Dr. Maybellyn A. Zepeda, LGSD OIC; (Lower left) Inspirational message by Atty. Wilfredo G. Moncano, MGB Director; (Lower right) Closing Remarks by Engr. Roland A. De Jesus, MGB Assistant Director
By: Lands Geological Survey Division