By Chito Chavez
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año alerted all governors and mayors in Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, and National Capital Region (NCR) to be physically present and help their constituents affected by Taal volcano’s eruption.
Año also placed the Philippine National Police (PNP) on full disaster response status as mandatory evacuation is currently being implemented in areas directly affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano in close coordination with local government units (LGUs).
“We have mobilized all PNP Search and Rescue assets in PRO 4A for the conduct of timely and rapid disaster response. All PNP Regional Directors in Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol and the National Capital Region have also been directed to immediately activate their respective Disaster Incident Management Task Group, Regional Reactionary Standby Force, and Search and Rescue assets for immediate deployment as needed by conditions in their respective areas,’’ Año said.
He also called on the local chief executives affected by the volcanic eruption “to immediately convene their local disaster risk reduction and management council to respond to the situation and address the needs of residents in their areas.”
“The local chief executives must also immediately activate their incident management teams, operations center, and various disaster response teams. The DILG will closely monitor the actions taken by the LGUs in accordance with Operation Listo protocols,” he added.
Año said the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) has been assisting the police and the local government units in implementing the mandatory evacuation of affected families.
He appealed to the public to donate clean drinking water, food, medicines, and other basic essentials such as tents, mats, blankets, water containers, and cooking pots for the use of those staying in the evacuation centers.
The alert level of Taal Volcano was raised to Alert Level 4 which means hazardous eruption is possible within hours to days.
At least 7,000 individuals in the Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon (Calabarzon) are temporarily staying in evacuation centers.