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Thursday, 08 May 2008 19:00


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 places 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 17 September 1984, seimology 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 30 January 1987, by virtue of Executive Order No. 128, the NSTA was structurally and functionally transformed into the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). PHIVOLCS was granted its present mandates.


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

  1. Predict the occurrence of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes; and their geotectonic phenomena;
  2. Determine how eruptions and earthquakes shall occur and also areas likely to be affected;
  3. Generate sufficient data for forecasting volcanic eruptions and earthquakes;
  4. Mitigate hazards of volcanic activities through appropriate detection, forecast and warning systems; and
  5. Formulate appropriate disaster-preparedness and mitigation plans.