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Press Release - Cayetano bats for PHIVOLCS modernization to strengthen hazard mapping, build better infrastructure

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday expressed support for the modernization of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), particularly the strengthening of the country's hazard mapping which will help the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) choose better locations for infrastructure.

"Hazard mapping (will) aid everyone doing construction, including... where to build and not to build new roads, where not to put more cisterns, where to fix everything," Cayetano said as he presided over the Senate Committee on Science and Technology's hearing on the PHIVOLCS Modernization Act on December 1, 2023.

Agreeing with the independent senator, PHIVOLCS Director Dr. Teresito Bacolcol said the country's hazard maps, while incomplete, are already being used by local government units in their comprehensive land use program. The DPWH also requests for information on the location of faults and where to build cisterns, he added.

Cayetano said completing the country's hazard map will aid the government in its infrastructure program, noting that the DPWH's budget for infrastructure has jumped from P700 billion to P1 trillion in recent years.

"Out of the P1 trillion sa DPWH budget ay P250 billion ay flood control. But if you spend P30-40 billion budget on hazard mapping that informs where not to build (and) which river to protect, you may not need P250 billion in flood control in the future," he said.

Cayetano said while he does not doubt the DPWH's goal of building massive infrastructures, the government should make use of the science available from DOST and not be reactionary in building projects.

"We (seem to be) neglecting science. Reaction lang kasi after reaction ang paggawa [ng daan], at tinatabunan lang ang maling gawa sa isa," he said.

Cayetano urged the government to give the proper support and budget to the DOST because it will ultimately save money for the country.

"If you have a guide to build the infrastructure and save money, why not?" he said.

Cayetano, suportado ang PHIVOLCS modernization upang palakasin ang hazard mapping, pagbuo ng mas magandang imprastraktura

Nagpahayag ng suporta si Senador Alan Peter Cayetano nitong