By Charissa Luci-Atienza
Over 46,000 families have been displaced by the Taal Volcano eruption in CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) region, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said on January 20, Monday.
The DSWD-Disaster Response Operations and Monitoring Information Center (DROMIC) said as of 6 a.m., January 20, Monday, there were 46,747 families in Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, and Quezon provinces who were displaced. Of the total number of displaced families, 29, 242 families are staying in evacuation centers, while 17, 505 are “outside” the evacuation centers or staying with their relatives.
The DSWD-DROMIC reported that 53, 716 families or 215, 773 persons have been affected by the restive volcano.
Of 53, 716 affected families, 37,976 families or 149,088 persons come from Batangas; 7,816 families or 31,424 from Cavite; 2,919 families or 16,092 persons from Laguna; and 5,005 families or 19,169 persons from Quezon.
According to the DSWD-DROMIC report, a total of P7.88 million assistance have been extended to the Taal eruption victims.
“DSWD continues to assist the LGUs in assessing the needs of affected residents for the provision of additional necessary assistance,” the Department said.
The DSWD officials, led by Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista, met over the weekend to discuss ways on how to strengthen the agency’s disaster response in CALABARZON region.
The Department earlier assured the more food packs will be provided to the affected families.
The DSWD-DROMIC earlier noted that the DSWD Central Office (CO) , Field Offices (FOs), and Natural Resource Operations Center (NROC) have stockpiles and standby funds amounting to P916.83 million.
It said the DSWD Central Office (CO) and FOs has a total of P250,130,936.99 standby funds.
“Of the said amount, P215, 140,512.28 is the available Quick Response Fund (QRF) in the CO, ” it said.
According to the DSWD-DROMIC, they have stockpiles of 188, 594 food packs amounting to P71.886 million, and available food and non-food items amounting to P594.817 million.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) continuously raised Alert Level 4 over Taal Volcano, indicating that hazardous eruption is possible within hours to days.
It reiterated total evacuation of Taal Volcano Island and additional evacuation of areas at high-risk to pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami within a 14-kilometer radius from the main crater.
It warned that areas in the general north of Taal Volcano to stay alert against effects of heavy and prolonged ash fall.