NAMRIA envisions a highly-professionalized, technically advanced, globally competitive, and environment and natural resources caring agency. Its mission is to generate and disseminate reliable and up-to-date geographic information and provide related services, by employing state-of-the-art technology, in support to national development and security.
As provided for in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Administrative Order No. 31, series of 1988, which prescribed the guidelines implementing Section 22 (a) of Executive Order 192, NAMRIA is mandated to provide the public with mapmaking services and to act as the central mapping agency, depository, and distribution facility for natural resources data in the form of maps, charts, texts, and statistics.
Topographic Base Mapping
NAMRIA produces updated topographic base maps and thematic maps at various scales in support of the governments development planning, environmental management, and multi-hazard mapping, among other programs. Digital and cartographically enhanced largescale topographic maps (1:10,000 scale) provide more detailed information on administrative boundaries, drainage systems, existing infrastructure, major establishments, road networks, topography, vegetation, and other economic indicators showing the present development in the area at barangay level. Similarly, medium and small-scale maps (1:50,000 and 1:250,000 scale) are support tools for applications at municipal and provincial levels. Administrative maps indicate political boundaries of provinces and regions of the country.
Development of the National Geodetic Network
Executive Order (EO) No. 45, s. 1993 (as amended by EO 280, s. 2000 and EO 321, s. 2004) mandates the use of the Philippine Reference System of 1992 (PRS92) as the standard reference system for all surveying and mapping activities in the country by CY 2010. NAMRIA is spearheading the implementation of PRS92 Project in coordination with the DENR regional offices, particularly the Lands Management Bureau, the Forest Management Services, and the Lands Management Services. The project aims to transform old maps and surveys into PRS92. It also aims to upgrade the horizontal and vertical control networks of the country and ensure the reliability, completeness, and accuracy of PRS92 as the national geodetic network. The other key activities of the project are the upgrading and densification of geodetic control points, the conduct of leveling and gravity surveys, and the installation and upgrading of tide monitoring stations.
NAMRIAs land classification function involves demarcating, segregating, delimiting, and establishing the best category, kind, and use of a public land. Its objective is to determine through interbureau action which portion of the public domain is suitable as a forestland and which could be released as agricultural (alienable and disposable) land. Lands which are found suitable for agricultural purposes and declared as such are then slated for distribution to qualified beneficiaries.
Hydrographic Surveys and Nautical Charting
NAMRIA is responsible for the surveying and charting of the countrys maritime zones/areas which are the archipelagic waters, contiguous zone, Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), Extended Continental Shelf (ECS), and territorial sea. The agency regularly conducts hydrographic, bathymetric, oceanographic, and geophysical surveys wherein marine geographic information are presented in the form of nautical charts, bathymetric maps, thematic maps, tide and current tables, and special maritime publications. These are basic requisites for safe and efficient maritime travel and trade, marine environmental protection, infrastructure engineering, military defense, and scientific studies and researches. NAMRIA undertakes its survey activities utilizing its two multidisciplinary survey vessels, BRP HYDROGRAPHER PRESBITERO and BRP HYDROGRAPHER VENTURA, which are equipped with modern hydrographic, oceanographic, and navigational systems.
Delineation of Maritime Boundaries
A vital function of NAMRIA involves the delineation of the national maritime jurisdiction in accordance with the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). According to the UNCLOS, the coastal state is allowed to submit an Extended Continental Shelf (ECS) claim of up to the maximum limit of 350 nautical miles from the baselines, or 100 nautical miles from the 2,500-meter depth curve. The ECS is rich in mineral resources such as oil, natural gas, and hard mineral resources.
NAMRIA heads the interagency ECS-Technical Working Group (TWG) which is in charge of preparing the Philippine entitlement documents for ECS. The ECS-TWG is headed by the DENR Secretary under the supervision of the Commission on Maritime and Ocean Affairs (CMOA), Office of the President. NAMRIA likewise conducts bathymetric, seismic, and gravity surveys covering potential sites for the country’s ECS claim.
Moreover, NAMRIA provided its technical expertise to the CMOA, the House of Representatives, and the Senate in the successful passage of Republic Act number 9522 or the new Philippine Archipelagic Baselines Law. RA 9522 is one of the key Philippine actions to comply with the UNCLOS provisions. The ECS limits are reckoned from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured.
Geographic Information Management
NAMRIA integrates geographic and resource data to facilitate their access, analysis, and conversion into useful information. The agency develops and maintains databases and information systems and networks, packages information materials, and disseminates geographic and resource information. The agency is in the forefront of developing a national spatial data infrastructure (NSDI), a network of digital databases located throughout the Philippines which collectively will provide the fundamental data needed for socioeconomic, human resource, and environmental development objectives.
To date, the agency is establishing an internal spatial data infrastructure or NAMRIA SDI (nSDI) which would help in advancing the national SDI development. The nSDI is an infrastructure that will facilitate the gathering, storage, and distribution of spatial data across NAMRIA. It is an offshoot of the NAMRIA-Geoscience Australia memorandum of understanding signed in August 2009 to strengthen spatial data development and delivery in the Philippines.