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On 23 March 2021, the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (DOST-PHIVOLCS) conducted via Zoom a press conference dubbed as InfoSentro sa PHIVOLCS to launch and officially turnover the Spectral Acceleration Maps of the Philippines (SAM PH) Atlas to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Association of Structural Engineers of the Philippines (ASEP).

DOST Secretary Fortunato T. De la Peña graced the event and underscored in his Key Message the importance of structural integrity in saving lives in case of strong earthquakes. “The SAM PH Atlas is apt and timely to support the Build! Build! Build! Program of the Government”, he added. DOST Undersecretary and PHIVOLCS Officer-in-Charge Renato U. Solidum, Jr. presented the overview and rationale of the project. Later in the program, Secretary De la Peña and Undersecretary Solidum turned over the Atlas, which was virtually accepted by DPWH Secretary Mark A. Villar and ASEP President Engr. Ronaldo S. Ison.

The SAM PH Atlas, together with the previously rolled out Earthquake Model Atlases for the Philippines, Metro Manila, Metro Davao, and Metro Cebu which were also developed by DOST-PHIVOLCS, provides scientifically-derived information to engineers, building designers, and urban planners so that they can design essential and critical structures and facilities that are safe from and able to withstand intensity VIII earthquakes. It can be utilized for infrastructure audit and retrofitting of existing structures to conform to the current building standards. It can also be useful for urban development, risk assessment, and site-specific insurance rates and coverage.

During the Open Forum, Secretary De la Peña and Undersecretary Solidum were joined by DPWH Undersecretary Maria Catalina Cabral, Engr. Ison, PHIVOLCS Engineers Rhommel Grutas and Henremagne Peñarubia to address the queries from the audience. There are 492 (127 female, 365 male) Zoom and Facebook Live registered participants mostly from the engineering profession.

The DOST-PHIVOLCS takes pride in using better input data, more detailed hazard information, improved calculations, sound theories and assumptions, and probabilistic seismic hazard modeling on par with global standards. The Global Earthquake Model (GEM) Foundation Hazard Team, Geoscience Australia, and ASEP-ProjectSAM Committee were instrumental to the development of the Atlas. Its integration in the upcoming revision of the National Structural Code of the Philippines (NSCP) and the compliance to the Code can protect homes, save lives, and build an earthquake-resilient community.

For the free copy of the SAM PH Atlas, visit: https://www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/