Thursday, 08 May 2008 11:00

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) is a service institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) that is principally mandated to mitigate disasters that may arise from volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunami and other related geotectonic phenomena.



The violent eruption and resulting casualties and damages from Hibok-hibok Volcano in 1951 made the nation realize the necessity to seriously monitor and conduct studies on active volcanoes in the country. As there was no government agency at that time that is in-charge of this task, the Commission on Volcanology (COMVOL) was created in June 20,1952 through Republic Act No. 766, primarily to "safeguard life and property against volcanic eruptions and its dangers." COMVOL was initially placed under the Executive Board of the National Research Council and later under the National Science Development Board (NSDB).

On 17 March, 1982, Executive Order 784 reorganized the NSDB and its agencies into the National Science and Technology Authority (NSTA). COMVOL was restructured and renamed Philippine Institute of Volcanology (PHIVOLC).

On September 17, 1984, seismology or the science that deals with earthquakes, was transferred to the Institute from Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA). PHIVOLC was renamed Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS).

On January 30, 1987, by virtue of Executive Order No. 128, the NSTA was structurally and functionally transformed into the Department of Science and Technology was granted its present mandates.



As specified in Executive Order No. 128, PHIVOLCS has been mandated to perform the following functions:

  • Predict the occurrence of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes and their geotectonic phenomena;
  • Determine how eruptions and earthquakes shall occur and also areas likely to be affected;
  • Exploit the positive aspects of volcanoes and volcanic terrain in furtherance of the socio-economic development efforts of the government;
  • Generate sufficient data for forecasting volcanic eruptions and earthquakes; and
  • Formulate appropriate disaster-preparedness and mitigation plans.


A leading global science and technology institution in helping develop communities safe from and resilient to volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis and other related hazards.



We provide timely and quality information and services for warning, disaster preparedness and mitigation. This we do through the development and application of technologies for the monitoring and accurate prediction of and determination of areas prone to volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis and other related hazards, and capacity enhancement for comprehensive disaster risk reduction.


The objectives of the institute are:

1. To develop and maintain effective networks of volcanological, seismological and geophysical stations and facilities for monitoring, R&D purposes and disaster mitigation.


2. To develop the capability to repair, upgrade and fabricate instruments used in volcano and seismic monitoring and R&D activities.


3. To conduct research to increase the level of understanding/knowledge about volcanoes, volcanic eruptions and terranes, earthquake zones and mechanism, faulting, along with other related geotectonic phenomena.


4. To adapt and develop technologies for volcanic eruption and earthquake prediction, volcano and seismic monitoring and disaster mitigation.


5. To conduct R&D on the impact of volcanic eruption, earthquake and other related geotectonic phenomena on the physical and socio-economic environment and recommend appropriate measures for the mitigation of impacts and rehabilitation of affected areas.


6. To implement an aggressive S&T information processing and dissemination program to promote public awareness on the significance of volcanic activity, earthquakes and related geotectonic processes and their threats and possible benefits to man.


7. To identify, evaluate and characterize volcanic materials and energy products and generate/adapt technologies for their utilization.



The Institute is composed of four technical divisions: (1) Volcano Monitoring and Eruption Prediction Division (VMEPD), (2) Seismological Observation and Earthquake Prediction Division (SOEPD), (3) Geology and Geophysics Research and Development Division (GGRDD) and (4) Geologic Disaster Awareness and Preparedness Division (GDAPD), and a Finance and Administrative Division (FAD).


1) Volcano Monitoring and Eruption Prediction Division (VMEPD) is involved in volcano monitoring, assessment and warning as well as volcano-related researches.


  • Maintain and operate existing volcano observation system;
  • Develop and emplace new volcano observation systems;
  • Evaluate and adopt technology for forecasting and/or predicting volcanic eruptions;
  • Conduct regular volcano assessments;Conduct emergency investigation of volcanic phenomena;
  • Document, monitor and assess volcanic eruptions;
  • Maintain and operate a repository of volcano observation data; and
  • Provide data and information on volcanic activities to the public and to local and international scientific communities.

2. Seismological Observation and Earthquake Prediction Division (SOEPD) is concerned with earthquake monitoring and assessment as well as earthquake-related researches


  • Operate earthquake monitoring stations and observatories;
  • Design, develop and emplace networks of seismological stations and fault monitoring observatories;
  • Study and document the occurrences of earthquakes and tsunami;
  • Evaluate and adopt technology for earthquake prediction;
  • Define earthquake source zones and mechanisms;
  • Delineate potential source areas, paths and effects of tsunami;
  • Conduct studies on the primary and secondary effects of earthquakes;
  • Operate and maintain strong motion accelerograph networks for determination of level and character of strong ground motion in population centers and of infrastructure responses for use in earthquake resistant design of structures;
  • Develop expertise and offer services for earthquake engineering;
  • Maintain and operate a repository of earthquake observation data;
  • Provide data and information on earthquake and tsunami occurrences to the public and to local and scientific communities;
  • Service and repair instruments used by the laboratories and other divisions of the Institute;
  • Develop in-house capability to design, fabricate and upgrade instruments used in volcano, seismic and geophysical monitoring; and
  • Operate and maintain the electro-mechanical shop and provide electronic, mechanical and other instrument repair services for the other divisions of the Institute


3. Geology and Geophysics Research and Development Division (GGRDD) is the main research arm of PHIVOLCS


  • Conduct geologic mapping of active and potentially active volcanoes and study, and document the nature and mechanism of landslides and lahars;
  • Conduct geostructural mapping and investigation of active and potentially active faults and regional tectonic features;
  • Study the stratigraphy, petrology, distribution and other characteristics of volcanic deposits, and determine patterns and changes in volcanic activity as recorded in the volcanic deposits;
  • Determine and characterize the distribution, nature, relationship and other features of faults, subduction zones and other sources of magmatism and earthquakes in the Philippines;
  • Study and monitor the geophysical and geochemical characteristics of volcanic systems for long term hazards assessment and land-use planning; and
  • Identify and characterize volcanoes for better understanding of volcano processes.


4. The Geologic Disaster Awareness and Preparedness Division (GDAPD) is concerned with providing information packages to the public


  • Conduct vulnerability and risk assessment, impact and other social studies to generate data germane to geologic disaster preparedness planning;
  • Design and implement effective education-information campaign programs and projects to promote hazards awareness among stakeholders, especially in geologic disaster prone areas;
  • Document, collate, package and disseminate R&D results and information pertaining to geotectonic phenomena in forms appropriate for PHIVOLCS various end-users;
  • Expand and maintain an S&T library and systematize the storage and retrieval of volcanological, seismological, geophysical and other information pertinent to geologic hazards;
  • Establish and maintain linkages with tri-media network and authorities and agencies concerned with disaster prevention and mitigation for timely, accurate and fast dissemination of information in times of volcanic eruptions, earthquake occurrences and emergencies arising from related geotectonic phenomena; and
  • Conduct and organize seminars, workshops and I to give inputs and technical support to national and local government units and other stakeholders in the formulation of comprehensive disaster preparedness plans for volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and related geotectonic phenomena.


5. The Finance and Administrative Division (FAD) is concerned with the management of daily administrative operations


  • Handle personnel transactions, including appointments, leaves, transfer, resignation and separation
  • Develop and establish training programs towards the professional development of PHIVOLCS personnel
  • Handle financial transactions, maintain accounting records and books of accounts, prepares and submit financial statements and reports, certify to the availability of funds and/or allotments and to the correctness of vouchers, journals, bills and other financial documents;
  • Render staff advice and assistance on financial and management matters;
  • Handle cash receipts and disbursements;
  • File and maintain necessary records and documents;
  • Procure, store and distribute supplies, materials and equipment;
  • Handle legal matters and problems affecting the institute;
  • Provide building maintenance, security, janitorial, communication and transportation services.


Collaborative Projects