Manila - The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) detailed its modernization plans before the Senate Committee on Science and Technology on Friday. These plans are supported by four bills filed by various senators, including Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri and Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva.
According to Philippines News Agency, the modernization includes the installation of 300 earthquake monitoring stations, 82 sea level monitoring stations, comprehensive monitoring systems for eight volcanoes, geologic hazard maps, additional staff, and a new state-of-the-art Phivolcs building. Bacolcol emphasized the need for more technical staff, noting that half of Phivolcs' current staff are on temporary or contract status. Zubiri's bill proposes an initial fund of PHP5 billion from the national government's share in the Bases Conversion and Development Authority for the project. Additionally, Phivolcs is set to receive PHP2.5 billion annually for the next two years for capital outlay, to be administered under existing government financial rules. Panel chair Senator Alan Peter Cayetano suggested using official development assistance and revenue-generating measures to support the modernization budget. He stressed the importance of regular funding to ensure the success of the five-year plan.