Six Local Government Units (LGUs) received its Specific Earthquake Response Atlases from the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (DOST-PHIVOLCS) to be used for decision-making in building safer structures and facilities, and for strengthening disaster resiliency of the respective communities.

Each atlas is a compilation of maps that provides information on the characteristics of the subsurface soil and rock layers in the study areas or LGUs and the resulting site response to a specific earthquake ground motion. This can serve as a guide in seismic load design to increase the resiliency of buildings and infrastructures in the event of a large earthquake.

These atlases can be a significant reference for LGUs as well as by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to appropriately design earthquake-resilient government infrastructures, residential houses, and medium-to-high rise buildings in Pangasinan, Tarlac, Metro Iloilo-Guimaras, Cauayan City, Butuan City, and Mati City.

“Our country has learned many lessons during large damaging earthquakes. One is the construction of earthquake-resistant structures. Urban planners should have a wider perspective of the engineering challenges faced by property developers before crafting their comprehensive land-use and development plans,” said DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña said during the launching and turnover ceremony held on 22 October 2021.

He said that they approved and funded the proposals of Dr. Rhommel N. Grutas from DOST-PHIVOLCS for the team to come up with the necessary surveys and data collection, analyses and interpretation, and mapping of the final results which can be used by engineers to properly design buildings to withstand the effects of ground shaking due to earthquakes.

“Urban communities are prone to ground shaking hazards due to the rapid development of medium to high rise infrastructures proximal to earthquake generators. Seismic micronization maps are useful in the development of comprehensive land use plans for major cities. These allow government agencies to develop better disaster response programs and (to have) more resilient communities and infrastructures,” Dr. Grutas said, the project leader of Specific Site Response Atlases.

According to DOST Undersecretary for Scientific and Technical Services and Officer-in-Charge of DOST-PHIVOLCS Dr. Renato U. Solidum Jr., these atlases pertain to a detailed compilation of hazard maps depicting the site response and earthquake ground motion levels of the study areas with the goal to increase the seismic resiliency of government structures, residential, and low-to-mid-rise buildings located in the city.

In his message, Pangasinan Governor Amado I. Espino III shared his appreciation and gratitude to DOST-PHIVOLCS and DOST-PCIEERD for developing the atlas intended for the province of Pangasinan as it would greatly help in their mission to make their province responsive and resilient during the occurrence of natural calamities such as earthquake.

The project was funded by the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development, one of the three sectoral councils of the department.

Incidentally, more knowledge products and innovations of DOST-PHIVOLCS will be featured in the upcoming celebration of the 2021 National Science and Technology Week to be held from 22-28 November 2021 through the virtual platform. To also know more of the different technologies, innovations, activities, forums, and webinars of the other DOST agencies and regional offices showcased in the 2021 NSTW, kindly visit its website at and check out the Facebook page at and these hashtags #2021NSTW, #DOSTTugonSaHamon, #ScienceforthePeople. (By Allan Mauro V. Marfal, DOST-STII)

Dr. Rhommel Grutas, supervising science research specialist from the DOST-PHIVOLCS and the project leader, said that these Specific Site Response Atlases will enable government agencies to develop better disaster response programs and create more resilient communities and infrastructures. (Photo from DOST-PHIVOLCS Facebook Page)

DOST Undersecretary for Scientific and Technical Services and DOST-PHIVOLCS Officer-in-Charge Dr. Renato U. Solidum Jr. shared with the attendees what information were inside the atlases that were turned-over to the six local government units. (Photo from DOST-PHIVOLCS)