By Lee C. Chipongian
Due to the Taal Volcano eruption and the resulting ashfall cloud that has spread across Luzon, the Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) has suspended exchange rate and trading activities on Monday.
BAP also reminded banks to consider the safety of all its employees particularly in affected nearby areas around Batangas where Taal is located.
“Pursuant to BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) Circular No.1043 Section 3(b) of Annex A and Malacañang’s announcement of no work of government offices due to Taal Volcano eruption, please be advised that the BAP US dollar/Philippine peso spot trading will be closed,” BAP Managing Director Benjamin P. Castillo said.
“Banks are also encouraged to exercise management discretion to ensure the safety and welfare of their people during this emergency situation brought about by Taal Volcanic eruption,” he added.
Taal Volcano erupted Sunday morning and expelled large amounts of ash cloud and spreading across the CALABARZON area which includes besides Batangas, the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Quezon. Since Sunday, evacuations have been ongoing in Talisay, San Nicholas, Tanuan, Lipa, Agoncillo and Balete.
The ashfall has also reached as far as Marikina and Quezon City in Metro Manila by late in the afternoon of January 12.
Taal Volcano is currently spewing magma and a lava fountain. The volcano is the country’s second most active volcano after Mt. Mayon in Albay. The last time the volcano erupted was in 1977.