DPWH-Installed Gabions Reduced Landslide Along Southern Leyte Highways to 40%

Monday, July 18, 2016

Landslide vulnerability along roadsides in Southern Leyte has reduced from 80 percent to 40 percent, with the Department of Public Works and Highways’ installation of gabions along critical areas.

DPWH Southern Leyte District Engineering Office (SLDEO) District Engineer Ma. Margarita C. Junia said about three-kilometer stretch of the province’s highway is now protected with gabions - an effective and economical long term solution to prevent soil erosions from blocking our roads, especially during rainy days.

Gabions are wirework containers filled with rock used of structures such as retaining walls, with design more advantageous over more rigid structures as they can conform to ground movement, dissipate energy from flowing water, and drain freely.

Concerned with the high cost of road clearing and inconvenience to motorists, Junia said DPWH SLEDO started installing gabions in 2004. Since then, landslide occurence in areas have significantly reduced.

Aside from gabions, DPWH is planning to implement a stabilization control project utilizing Swiss technology.

“Our funding proposal for this project is P107 million in 2017. We will prioritize the most critical section of Barangay Kahupian in Sogod, which has an ascending roadway and multiple blind curves,” Junia explained.

The technology, according to Junia, has been used as permanent solution to geohazards in other parts of the country under the Technical Cooperation Projects of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has recently ranked Southern Leyte province as the seventh most vulnerable to heavy landslides in the Philippines.

Based on MGB’s geohazard mapping and assessment, the province recorded a 78 percent landslide probability.