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The Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (DOST-PHIVOLCS), in partnership with DOST-CALABARZON and Batangas Provincial Science and Technology Center (PSTC), conducted a webinar dubbed as DOST-PHIVOLCS InfoBit: Usapang Bulkang Taal” last March 31, 2021, via Zoom and Facebook (FB) Live. The webinar aims to give updates on the status of Taal Volcano, to correct misleading information, and to address the queries of stakeholders about the likelihood and scenario of a volcanic eruption.

 

InfoBit Resource Persons and the Q&A panelists

 

The InfoBit started with the opening message of DOST Undersecretary and PHIVOLCS Officer-in-Charge Dr. Renato Solidum, Jr. recalling the Taal Volcano’s past eruptions. He emphasized the importance of these past events to better understand the ‘characteristics and behavior’ of Taal Volcano. He reminded both local officials and residents to be vigilant in consuming information available on different platforms such as social media.

Ms. Ma. Antonia V. Bornas, Chief Science Research Specialist of the Volcano Monitoring and Eruption Prediction Division, discussed the Taal Volcano's current status and gave a run-through about the details that can be acquired from the Alert Levels, Bulletin, Advisory, and Update. Ms. Bornas reiterated that all the volcano monitoring parameters are analyzed and assessed in raising or lowering the alert level to ensure the safety of the public. "DOST-PHIVOLCS is a scientific institution with recommendatory functions and has no authority to implement evacuation. The control resides with the LGU, which implements this evacuation through their Contingency Plans", she explained to answer the question on the call for evacuation.

Furthermore, Resident Volcanologist of the Taal Volcano Observatory Mr. Paolo D. Reniva presented the 24/7 real-time monitoring of the Taal Volcano using a state-of-the-art network of instruments and competent scientists and engineers.

There were 1,949 Zoom and FB Live registered participants composed of key officials of Batangas and Cavite local government units, Office of Civil Defense (OCD), media, and the general public. Ms. Emelita P. Bagsit, DOST-CALABARZON Acting Regional Director, concluded the 3-hour event with her closing message and emphasized that people should only rely on science-based information to avoid spreading unnecessary panic among residents just like her who live close to Taal Volcano.