PCG sends teams, assets to Batangas amid Taal eruption

Robie de Guzman   •   January 14, 2020   •   448

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has deployed its teams and assets to Batangas to help in the evacuation of families affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano.

The PCG said they are currently conducting disaster response operations in several barangays in Talisay and Laurel towns in Batangas and evacuated remaining families heavily affected by the ashfall.

District Southern Tagalog Commander Commodore Leovigildo Panopio reported that the PCG station in Talisay on Monday has successfully transported residents from San Nicolas, Talisay, Nasugbu and Lemery in Batangas to their respective evacuation centers.  

Approximately 300 families were also transferred from the evacuation center in Talisay going to a larger and safer evacuation center in Santo Tomas, Batangas on midnight of January 13, the PCG said.

PCG district in Southern Tagalog also sent medical teams to provide assistance to evacuees who are experiencing difficulties in breathing and other health-related issues caused by inhaled ashfall.

The agency also distributed N95 masks to the evacuees, especially to children, senior citizens, and pregnant women.

The PCG said its Task Force Taal, headed by Commodore Art Abu, has already been activated to implement further disaster response measures, in coordination with the Provincial Disaster Risk Response and Management Office in Batangas.

Taal Volcano island dwellers relocated to Ibaan, Batangas

Robie de Guzman   •   February 4, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Residents of Taal Volcano Island displaced by the volcano’s unrest have been temporarily relocated to another town in Batangas.

Several families who fled their homes in the island were moved to a relocation site in Barangay Talibon in Ibaan town.

The local government relocated them to 123 housing units initially prepared for members of the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Army.

Residents from Barangay Alas-as, Pulang Bato in San Nicolas, and Zone 4 of Talisay, whose homes and livelihood were destroyed by the Taal ashfall, were among those transferred to the site.

Some of the volcano island dwellers were ordered transferred for their safety after the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) declared Taal Volcano Island a permanent danger zone.

Phivolcs has since downgraded the alert status of Taal Volcano from level 4 to level 3, two weeks after its eruption sent thousands of families scrambling for safety. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Sherwin Culubong)

Several homes of Taal evacuees robbed

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 28, 2020

Several evacuees in Laurel, Batangas found their houses robbed after the local government implemented window hours that allowed them to return to homes to check their belongings.

Aside from thick ashes covering dozens of homes, residents of Barangay Gulod, Bugaan East, and Buso-Buso found some of their belongings are missing.

“Gaya ng inipon naming isda diyan pagbalik namin wala nang laman. Noong lock down, six days pagbalik namin wala ng laman, nasayang lang po iyong pagod namin (Like the fish we stored, we returned and it was empty. During the lockdown, we went back after six days and it was empty, all our efforts were wasted),” said Tirso Binaid, one of the fishermen in Laurel, Batangas.

Three barangays in Laurel, Batangas, under the 7-kilometer radius danger zone, are affected by the lockdown of the government.

Laurel, Batangas Mayor Joan Amo said they provided a 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. window hours for the three barangays to feed their livestock.

CALABARZON Police Regional Director Brig. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. called on people not to take advantage of the situation.

“So hindi po ito panahon ng pananamantala (This is not the time to take advantage of others). I will be very strict, we will implement the law to the fullest lalong lalo na iyong nakikita natin na nanamantala sa ating mga kababayan (especially against those who are taking advantage of our fellowmen),” he said.—AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

DOLE opens internship program for 600 families in Mataas na Kahoy, Batangas

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 28, 2020

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has opened an internship program for 600 families in Mataas na Kahoy, Batangas.

DOLE’s government internship program aims to provide temporary jobs to the families affected by the Taal eruption.

Individuals under the internship program will work eight hours a day with one hour lunch break. They will earn P400 a day or P12,000 per month. Only one member per family is allowed to become a beneficiary of the internship program.

Myrna Devilla, one of the beneficiaries, said they help with the cleaning of the evacuation centers in preparation for the resumption of classes. She also said the internship program helps them earn enough money for their daily needs.

“Malaking tulong rin iyon sa amin para pang-kuwan sa aming pangangailangan (It is a huge help for us to sustain our needs),” she said.—AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

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