The Geological Society of the Philippines was organized on VJ Day, September 2, 1945, amidst the ruins of the newly liberated City of Manila when a group of geologists (mostly Americans) attached to the office of the Chief Engineer, GHQ AFPSC, met with a group of Filipino geologists and mining engineers under the chairmanship of Lt. Col. H. G. Scherick. Credit for the initiation of the movement which led to the founding of the Society goes to Major Robert N. Williams and to Dr. Jose M. Feliciano. Of the 62 original or charter members, 39 were Americans, one Australians, and the rest Filipinos.
In this historic meeting the late Dr. Jose . Feliciano, former head of the Department of Geology and Geography of the University of the Philippines was unanimously elected first President of the Society, with Dr. Victoriano Elicaño as Vice President, Mr. Francisco Paguirigan as Secretary-Treasurer, and Mr. Ramon Abarquez as Editor.
The objectives of the Society are: (1) to promote the science of geology and allied earth sciences; (2) to foster the spirit of scientific research; (3) to disseminate knowledge concerning the geology of the Philippines and the regions immediately surrounding it; and (4) to protect and maintain a high professional and ethical standard in the practice of geology amongst its members.
Soon after its founding the Society set up: (1) the Quirino A. Abadilla Memorial Library in honor of the late Director of the Philippines Bureau of Mines, and (2) the F. A. Duggleby Museum, in honor of a prominent American mining engineer who played an important role in the promotion and development of the mining industry in the Islands.
In December 1946 the first issue of “The Philippine Geologist” the quarterly journal of the Society, came out. This publication filled the need for a local medium for the dissemination of information in various fields of geology, mining, metallurgy in so far as they pertain to the Philippines and the neighboring areas. The bulk of the articles or scientific papers are voluntarily contributed by member as well as non-member geologists and engineers from the government and the private sector. Despite its inherent handicaps, much of the success of the publication may be attributed to the tireless efforts of the late Mr. Jose R. Barcelon who edited it from 1947 to 1953.
In order to conform with the latest trend in publication of technical papers or bulletins, the Society decide to change in 1959 its old mimeographed format into a more presentable and handy form. Moreover, with the new format, funds generated through advertisements from operating oil and mining companies augmented the Society funds for printing purposes.
Periodically the Society invites prominent geologists or engineers as guest speakers in lecture-discussions sponsored by it for the benefit of members as well as the interested public. Such lecture-discussions have created much interest in geology and related earth sciences as indicated by the good attendance during such events.
The Society has gained recognition by scientific institutions abroad with whom it exchange it exchanges publications. Foreign libraries feature among the many subscribers to its official journal, “The Philippine Geologist.” In addition, the Society also receives yearly numerous invitations to participate in international conferences held in foreign countries.
The Philippine government has also given due recognition to the Society when, by legislation, it required that one of the members of the Commission on Volcanology must come from the Geological Society of the Philippines. Motivated by the strong desire to uphold a high standard of geological profession in the country, the Society sponsored in Congress House Bill 401 and worked continuously for several years until it was finally enacted and passed into law last June 19, 1965. Known as Republic Act 4203, it regulates the practice of the geology profession in the Philippines. Article I, Sec. 2 of said law provides that the members of the Board of Examiners for Geologist shall be appointed by the Geological Society of the Philippines.
In commemoration of its 14th year of existence, the Society launched its first geological convention in Manila during the period January 9 – 11, 1958. Delegates from the geological societies of Japan, Nationalist China, United States, Australia and Southern Korea attended. Fifteen papers were read and the discussion created lively interest on current geological problems. The Society gained wide support from the different mining companies thus helping in working the first convention a success. Distinguished achievement awards were given to Mr. Earl M. Irving and Mr. Juan S. Teves during the convention.
Conscious of the significance of geology as an effective tool for accelerating mineral resources development in the country and in line with the administration’s drive to set-up its various economic programs, the Society is sponsoring the “2nd Geological Convention and First Symposium on the Geology of the Mineral Resources of the Philippines and Neighboring Countries” on January 11 – 14, 1967 which will feature an exchange of ideas and information among geologists and other earth scientists.
In the late 1966, the Geological Society of the Philippines was incorporated in order to pursue effectively the different plans and activities designed toward the attainment of its goals.