DILG urges public to heed warning, respect Taal Volcano 14-km danger zone

Robie de Guzman   •   January 16, 2020   •   361

A man rides a horse on a street covered in volcanic ash in Talisay, Batangas, Philippines, 16 January 2020. EFE/EPA/MARK R. CRISTINO

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday called on the public to abide by the 14-kilometer radius danger zone of Taal Volcano following reports of residents attempting to return to their homes in the wake of the eruption.

In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año urged the public “not to risk their safety and their lives”, heed warnings, and to follow the mandatory evacuation order issued by local authorities.

“Sumunod po tayo sa mandatory evacuation recommended by Phivolcs and imposed by the DILG. Pahalagahan ang kaligtasan at buhay ninyo bago ang inyong ari-arian,” he said.

“Sumunod po tayo sa mga autoridad at manatili sa mas ligtas na lugar habang hindi pa natatapos ang pag-aalboroto ng Taal Volcano,” he added.

Among the areas with villages within the 14-kilometer danger zone are Agoncillo, Alitagtag, Balete, Cuenca, Laurel, Lemery, Lipa City, Malvar, Mataasnakahoy, San Nicolas, Sta. Teresita, Taal, Talisay and Tanauan City, all in Batangas; and Tagaytay City in Cavite.

The DILG earlier issued an order for mandatory evacuation in 199 villages in 15 municipalities and towns in Batangas and Cavite which have been identified as susceptible to ballistic projectiles, base surges, and volcanic tsunami as a result of the eruption.

Based on the list provided by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), 213 villages in Batangas are susceptible to base surges; 28 barangays in Cavite are exposed to a possible ballistic projectile, and 124 barangays in Cavite and eight in Laguna may experience a possible volcanic tsunami.

The DILG said that as of Thursday, evacuation efforts have been undertaken in 179 villages in both Batangas and Cavite, while mandatory evacuation works are ongoing in the rest of the villages. Only 10 percent of the residents remain to be evacuated.

DILG Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya also said that the Philippine National Police (PNP) has created a perimeter task force and set up checkpoints in all entry points to enforce the lockdown imposed in various areas in Batangas.

A special anti-looting task force was also deployed to danger zones to ensure that their properties are secure.

“We want all our evacuees to have peace of mind so we have police officers on patrol in the evacuated barangays to ensure that criminals will not take advantage of this tragedy,” he said.

Malaya also reiterated that the volcano island is strictly off-limits to residents but residents may coordinate with disaster officials if they want access to the high-risk areas.

“LGUs may allow, on a case to case basis, access to the high-risk areas but this has to be done in coordination with local disaster officials and is dependent on prevailing conditions,” he said.

The DILG earlier ordered the PNP and other concerned agencies to stop anyone from attempting to return to Taal Volcano island.

DILG directs LGUs to submit structural assessment report in 90 days for the ‘Big One’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 27, 2020

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has directed local government units (LGUs) to submit a structural assessment report in 90 days in preparation for the ‘Big One’.

In a press conference on Wednesday (February 26), DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said LGUs are tasked to submit rapid structural assessment of buildings and infrastructures to the DILG and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

“[This is a] part of the effort to fortify buildings and establishments in anticipation of a massive earthquake like the Big One,” he said.

LGUs are also expected to submit action plans in response to the assessment’s findings. The DILG Secretary warned of sanctions against LGUs who will fail to comply.

“We will not automatically file cases to the non-compliant LGUs. Pero magkakaroon ng kaso kapag mayroon ng (but there will be a case if there will be) damage to properties at (and) loss of lives dahil sa negligence ng LGU, (because of the LGUs’ negligence)” Año said.—AAC

DILG tells local execs to establish impounding areas for towed vehicles

Robie de Guzman   •   February 26, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday ordered all local government units (LGU) to establish impounding areas for towed illegally parked vehicles.

Through Memorandum Circular 2020-031, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said all cities and municipalities are mandated to designate impounding areas where towed illegally parked vehicles, as well as those involved in road accidents or breakdowns, will be brought.

Tricycles apprehended by LGUs for operating in national highways should also be brought to these impounding areas.

Año said the directive is part of government efforts to clear road obstructions.

“Ang mga illegally parked vehicles ay kailangang i-tow at dalhin sa impounding area. It is, therefore, incumbent upon cities and municipalities to designate impounding areas for the safekeeping of towed vehicles,” he said in a statement.

“Ang pagtatalaga ng impounding area ay mandato sa ating mga syudad at bayan. Kailangan nating umaksyon para sa mas maluwag na daan, mas mabilis na daloy ng trapiko, at para sa kapakanan ng publiko,” he added. The DILG chief also called on local councils to pass ordinances specifying guidelines on towing, impounding and releasing of impounded vehicles and prescribing corresponding penalties.

He said that such ordinances should be consistent with national laws and policies, and shall not be unreasonable or discriminatory.

Año said the latest directive supplements Memorandum Circular 2019-121 issued last July, mandating local governments to reclaim roads and revoke parking permits of private vehicles on public roads.

Furthermore, Section 16 of the Local Government Code provides police powers to local governments to regulate the use of roads, direct traffic, and remove obstructions.

“Kahanay po nito ang isa pa naming direktiba, ang MC 2020-004, na sumasakop sa operasyon ng mga tricycle kasama ang pagbibigay ng prangkisa. Ang mga tricycle ang madalas na sakit ng ulo ng mga traffic enforcer lalo na kung walang terminal at kung saan-saan na lang nag-aabang ng pasahero,” he said.

UNTV Cup players to join Wish Olympics

UNTV News   •   February 21, 2020

Julius Casaysayan of Agriculture Food Masters

MANILA, Philippines — Players from UNTV Cup – the Liga of Public Servants – are set to join the Wish Olympics, a charity sports and entertainment event for the benefit of the victims of the Taal Volcano eruption.

Among the players are PNP Responders’ Mariano “Neil Perez” Flormata Jr. and Anton Tolentino, Julius Casaysayan of Agriculture Food Masters, Rod William Vasallo of PITC Global Traders and Carlo Gonzalez of GSIS Furies.

PBA Legends and UNTV Cup Commissioners Atoy Co and Ed Cordero, as well as PBA Legends Allan Caidic, Johnny Abarrientos, Jayjay Helterbrand, Chris Calaguio, and Willie Miller, will also be gracing the event and extend their support.

Spearheaded by Wish 107.5 innovator and public service advocate, Kuya Daniel Razon, Wish Olympics will be held on February 23, 2020, at Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Rod William Vasallo of PITC Global Traders

It is aimed at extending more charity works to the people of Batangas, Cavite, and Laguna who have been severely affected by the explosion of the Taal Volcano.

Since the first week of the calamity, UNTV and the Members Church of God International, together with local and national government agencies have been carrying out medical missions and relief efforts for the victims.

Razon said he realizes the enormity of the eruption’s aftermath and that it will take months before the evacuees could carry on again with their normal lives.

This, he said, prompted him to think of ways to better extend assistance to the victims, and such is by way of the said sports and entertainment event.

PNP Responders’ Mariano “Neil Perez” Flormata Jr.

It will be participated in by artists like Morisette, Imago, Clara Benin, Jayda, The Juans, The Wishfuls, Rhea Basco, Mark Herras, JayR, Rayver Cruz, Ejay Falcon, Young JV, Jordan Herrera, Adrian Alandy, James Blanco, Albie Casino, Gerhard Acao and Axel Torres.

Professional volleyball players and TV/movie personalities such as Gretchen Ho, Kathy Bersola, Claudia Barretto, Gwen Zamora, Roma Joy Doromal, Che Sindayen, Jem Ferrer, Patcharee Saengmuang, Sandy Delos Santos, Aya Fernandez, Casey Da Silva, Ana Gopico, Amanda Villanueva, Nicole Tiamzon, Heather Guino-o, and Erika Alkuino will also team up for a friendly volleyball match.

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