A girl plays with a doll at an evacuation centre in Balayan, Batangas.
Release/LJ Pasion/Save the Children
Number of displaced outside evacuation centers still rising — NDRRMC
Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - January 22, 2020 - 2:09pm

MANILA, Philippines — Although the number of displaced in evacuation centers did not rise remarkably, it was the number of evacuees being "served outside evacuation centers" that saw a significant influx, as the latter's count stood at another high of 90,017 on Wednesday afternoon. 

Life as usual for many has long been disrupted by Taal's unrest, and for the displaced, the end is still nowhere in sight as the numbers continue to pile up. 

Wednesday's 12 p.m. situation report from the NDRRMC said that there was a total of 148,987 persons taking shelter in temporary evacuation centers, making up a total of 282,021 persons who were listed as "affected" in the provinces of Batangas, Laguna, Quezon and Cavite.

Batangas Gov. Hermilando Mandanas said in a press briefing on Tuesday that the number of those who have fled had already swelled to at least one million. He said this estimate was "based on the number of population living within the declared lockdown areas."

Over a week into Taal's fury, the NDRRMC also remains on red alert, requiring all disaster officials to report for work 24/7. Taal Volcano itself remains on Alert Level 4, which means that another volcanic eruption is possible within hours to days. The alert status has been raised since the initial eruption at its main crater on Sunday, January 12. 

Global child welfare organization Save the Children Philippines has cast fear over the possible effects prolonged displacement might have on child evacuees, while labor and fisherfolk groups Anakpawis and Pamalakaya have bemoaned the projected losses in income. 

As of Wednesday afternoon, the NDRRMC's report has also tallied almost P27 million in assistance disbursed by the government to cushion the effects of a total of P3.2 billion in agricultural damages incurred in the provinces of Batangas, Laguna and Cavite. 

In a bulletin on January 17, the Department of Agriculture also confirmed that the fishery sector was the most affected in the wake of Taal's unrest.

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