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Vilma Santos proposes creation of Taal Commission
In this Jan. 17, 2020 photo, Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto visits evacuees affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano in Batangas.
Facebook/Vilma Santos-Recto

Vilma Santos proposes creation of Taal Commission

Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - January 20, 2020 - 5:39pm

MANILA, Philippines — Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto (Batangas) proposed the creation of a commission that would assist the victims of the eruption of the Taal Volcano.

In a privilege speech Monday, Santos told her colleagues at the House of Representatives that 41,000 families or about 180,000 individuals stay in evacuation centers within and outside Batangas.

"I propose to this body for the creation of Taal Commission at the appropriate time — the relief rehabilitation and assistance of those affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano," Santos said.

Santos, also a former Batangas governor, urged Congress to make a realignment of funds in coordination with the House appropriations committee, Department of Budget and Management and other government agencies for the immediate release of funds.

This would address the crisis cost by Taal Volcano's steam-driven eruption in order to ensure the immediate rehabilitation and resettlement of those affected.

"In addition, I hope we can craft more laws that would improve our local government units' disaster preparedness capabilities so that we can ensure the safety, health and economic well-being of our people," Santos said.

Citing Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum, Santos reminded her fellow Batangueños that Alert Level 4 is still in effect over Taal Volcano, which means that an explosive eruption is still possible.

The lawmaker reiterated that residents within the 14-kilometer danger zone have to stay outside the perimeter and temporarily take shelter in evacuation centers.

The towns of Agoncillo, San Nicolas, Talisay, Balete, Mataas na Kahoy, Lemery, Laurel, Taal, part of Cuenca, Alitagtag, Sta. Teresita, San Jose, Malvar, Tanauan City, Lipa City, parts of Tagaytay City and parts of Cavite province are in high-risk zones.

Meanwhile, Santos' husband Senate Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto filed a bill seeking to create the Taal Volcano Rehabilitation and Development Commission before the Senate.

Under Senate Bill 1275, the Taal Volcano Rehabilitation and Development Fund will allocate P50 billion to provide immediate relief to affected individuals and families.

This would also establish resettlement centers, homesites and townsites for displaced families; provide livelihood and employment opportunities for residents; and construct, repair, rehabilitate or reconstruct public infrastructure needed in affected communities.

"Ultimately, this proposed measure seeks to hasten the recovery and sustain the economic development of communities affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano, with the hopes that the return to normalcy will aid not only in the economic prosperity of the Southern Tagalog Region but of the entire country as well," Recto said.

RALPH RECTO TAAL VOLCANO TAAL VOLCANO ERUPTION 2020 VILMA SANTOS RECTO
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: March 15, 2021 - 5:11pm

Get updates as Phivolcs issues warnings over activity in Taal Volcano. (Main photo by Philstar.com/Rosette Adel)

March 15, 2021 - 5:11pm

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology maintains Alert Level 2 status over the Taal Volcano on Monday as it recorded 252 volcanic earthquakes with 17 volcanic tremor episodes in the past 24 hours.

State volcanologists however say they haven't advised people living near the volcano to evacuate yet.

Under Alert Level 2, a volcano is seen under increased unrest. Phivolcs reminds the public that "sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur and threaten areas within the Taal Volcano Island." The Filipino Connection/Marlon Luistro
 

March 9, 2021 - 8:23am

Alert Level 2 is raised over Taal Volcano after state volcanologists recorded 28 volcanic tremor episodes, four low frequency volcanic earthquakes and one hybrid earthquake in the past 24 hours.

Phivolcs says the raising of the alert status means that there is probable magnetic activity that may or may not lead to an eruption.

"At Alert Level 2, evacuation is not yet recommended. However, the public is reminded that Taal Volcano Island is a Permanent Danger Zone and that entry into TVI, especially the vicinities of the Main Crater and the Daang Kastila fissure, must remain strictly prohibited," Phivolcs says Tuesday morning.

February 17, 2021 - 3:58pm

State volcanologists warn of a possibility that Taal Volcano might have another phreatic explosion similar to what happened last year.

Phivolcs director Renato Solidum says the possible explosion will only affect the volcano island.

Phivolcs has recorded 69 tremor episodes having durations of one to five minutes in the past 24-hour period, as of Wednesday morning. Alert Level 1 (abnormal) is raised over Taal Volcano, which means that "sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall, and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur."

February 16, 2021 - 3:10pm

Residents of Taal Volcano Island were evacuated following increased seismic activity in Taal Volcano.

The Philippine Coast Guard says it deployed water assets to the island to make advisory, inspection and fetch the people in the area and bring them to safety.

February 27, 2020 - 9:35am

Philvolcs says in its 8 a.m. bulletin that Taal Volcano’s main crater emitted steam-laden plumes that are 300 meters high between 9pm February 26 to 3am of February 27.

Taal Volcano remains at Alert Level 2.

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