Feature: Phivolcs commemorates 60 years of 'fault-finding'Tuesday, June 26, 2012 07:09 AM Views : 263Jerome Carlo R. Paunan
For 60 years, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has been providing the public with relevant and up-to-the-minute information on the activities of volcanoes, earthquakes, fault lines, and tsunamis, as well as other specialized services primarily for the protection of life and property and in support of economic, productive, and sustainable development.
Through its service-oriented existence, Phivolcs has witnessed many life-changing events and stories in line with its mandate to mitigate disasters that may arise from such volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, and other related geotectonic phenomena.
The violent eruption of Mt. Hibok-Hibok, a stratovolcano in Camiguin Island in 1951 may have been the focal event that led to the creation of the then-Commission on Volcanology (Comvol) on June 20, 1952.
The institute currently celebrates the collective endeavors of its people, be it in the course of mobilizing education and awareness on volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, and other related geotectonic phenomena and disaster prediction and mitigation.
With the theme "Comvol to Phivolcs@60: Science Committed Towards Safer Communities," Phivolcs conducted various "earth-shaking" activities as part of its week-long celebration.
Activities included a poster-making contest that showcased the thrusts, goals, and accomplishments of each Phivolcs division, dubbed, "Phivolcs Through the Years."
The institute also conducted an open house and a career talk for college students aptly named, "Are You Ready to Shake?"
The open house allowed public elementary school students to participate in interactive games related to geologic hazards and readied them to learn the ways to prepare for these hazards through a film showing, a photo booth, and different exhibits.
On the other hand, the career talk for 4th year college science and engineering students has been a regular activity of Phivolcs that showcased personnel expertise on the field of volcanology, seismology, geophysics, geochemistry, and disaster risk reduction. It also discussed many opportunities and challenges that students may only find and learn from the agency.
Aside from providing a scientific symposium to the public, the warning agency also treated its employees to a family day with the theme, "It's More Fun in Phivolcs!" The institute also conducted an outdoor physical sports competition called "OlymPIVS," where employees competed with one another.
Moreover, the 60th anniversary celebration highlighted the institute's various education and outreach projects, its state-of-the-art volcano and earthquake monitoring systems, disaster risk reduction initiatives, and how Phivolcs envisions itself in the future.