By Nikka Garriga
QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA—Incoming college freshmen are encouraged to avail of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)'s scholarships in geosciences to boost the country's geohazard system.
DENR cecretary Ramon Paje issued the directive to encourage more students to take up mining and metallurgical engineering, who would eventually assist in geohazard mapping and assessment.
The agency noted a steady decline in the number of geologists, and mining and metallurgical engineers in the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) over the past years.
Jobs abroad that offer higher pay grade and the rationalization program contributed to this decline.
“The number of geologists who chose to stay and work with us is barely enough to handle the increasing work load particularly on geohazard mapping and assessment which is a necessity due to climate change,” Paje furthered.
There are only 88 geologists in MGB and over 120 vacant positions.
Paje appealed to incoming and current college students to take advantage of the scholarship program. He also urged qualified DENR personnel who wish to pursue a career in geosciences to try applying.
The program will cover tuition fees, a monthly stipend of P3, 000 and book allowance.
There are currently 12 scholars enrolled in the only five universities that offer the said courses locally.
These are the University of the Philippines, Adamson University and Mapua University in Luzon; Cebu Institute of Technology in the Visayas; and University of Southeastern Philippines in Mindanao.