Año orders BFP to use all its resources to clear eruption-affected roads

Published January 15, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Chito Chavez

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo M. Año has ordered on Wednesday the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) to use all its resources in clearing all roads affected by the Taal Volcano eruption.

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo M. Año (DILG / MANILA BULLETIN)
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo M. Año

He said all resources should be mobilized by the BFP “in aid of the road-clearing and cleaning operations as well as other needed efforts’’ in the aftermath of the Taal Volcano eruption.

“In these trying times, we must unite as a nation and respond with urgency. I therefore direct the BFP to deploy all its fire trucks and assets and perform all needed actions to assist in the road clearing and cleaning of ash fall and volcanic debris in all affected provinces.”

Año noted that clearing the roads of all forms of volcanic debris would be a great convenience for the public affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano. The eruption triggered Alert Level 4 which entails an imminent hazardous eruption within hours or days.

The urgent evacuation of citizens proved to be a difficult task as wet ash covered major roads and residential areas.

Año said that as Taal Volcano continues to spew ash and other volcanic debris, it is imperative that consistent aid be extended in clearing roads and evacuating people. “The BFP has the fire trucks and water provisions to help in clearing the roads of ash fall from the volcano.”

Año said 531 fire personnel, 147 fire trucks, 39 emergency medical service personnel, and nine ambulances from BFP-Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon) have been deployed to the affected areas and are ready to assist in road flushing activities.

He also commended the firefighters and personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP) who went out of their way to assist evacuees at great risk to their lives.

Regional efforts

The DILG Chief said that the department is monitoring the presence of all mayors and governors in affected areas and are receiving reports from DILG field offices.

“We will continue to monitor all LGUs and ensure that their needs are brought to the attention of the government, gayundin ang pagtitiyak na ang mga mayor ay kumikilos para sa kanilang mga constituents (…and also to ensure that the mayors are acting for their constituents),” he said.

Año noted the DILG issued a memorandum to DILG-Calabarzon on the conduct of mandatory evacuation for barangays susceptible to Taal Volcano ballistic projectiles, base surges, and volcanic tsunami.

A memorandum on the coordination mechanism for LGUs that signified they would provide humanitarian assistance to Taal Volcano eruption-affected areas was also issued.

“We have also activated the NCR, Calabarzon, and Central Luzon’s Management of the Dead and Missing Persons Clusters, and reiterated to pre-position and prepare for the eventuality of immediate deployment,” Año said.

He also said that an order was issued through the DILG-CODIX regarding the humanitarian assistance for Taal Volcano eruption-affected areas and mandatory evacuation in all high-risk barangays around Taal Volcano.

Meanwhile, the LGUs in the National Capital Region were advised to coordinate with all barangays regarding the influx of evacuees from the affected areas for security monitoring purposes and the monitoring of respiratory-related illnesses triggered by ash inhalation for medical assistance.

The DILG has vowed to coordinate with Metro Manila LGUs for vehicles, breathing apparatus, and water purifiers that they can commit for possible deployment to affected LGUs in Calabarzon for evacuation assistance purposes.