By Roy Mabasa
The United Nations will only act on rehabilitation activities especially during disaster situations subject to the approval of the host government.
This was emphasized by United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) Country Representative Iori Kato when asked about the UN’s role in the Taal Volcano eruption rehabilitation of affected areas and families
“We are subject to the official request made by the government. But as in the case of previous major disasters, I will not be too surprised, if, for example, a Level 5 eruption takes place, there can be an official request to be made by the government to the UN. The UN does not act alone, we are acting in support of the national and LGUs (local government units) in the provision of assistance,” Kato told the Manila Bulletin in an interview on Monday at the sidelines of the International Day of Commemoration of Holocaust victims.
Kato explained that under Alert Level 4, the UN has already been providing assistance such as logistics and provision of sanitary or health kits.
“If the question is about after a major eruption, we, of course as needed by the government both national and local, we’ll be happy to continue to provide assistance,” he said.
Kato expressed relief that government authorities have already downgraded the alert level in Taal to Level 3.
The UN, he added, takes part in the assessments being made by various sectors as “part of the government.”
On Tuesday, Phivolcs said Alert Level 3 remains hoisted for Taal Volcano as sulfur oxide emission and volcanic tremors continue to go down.