Duterte places Taal-hit Calabarzon under state of calamity
The clouds of ash spewed by Taal last month buried communities, farmlands and schools located on “pulo” or Taal Volcano Island.
Philstar.com/Efigenio Christopher Toledo IV

Duterte places Taal-hit Calabarzon under state of calamity

Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - February 27, 2020 - 11:51am

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte declared a state of calamity in Calabarzon to aid relief and rehabilitation efforts in areas affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano in Batangas.

Taal woke up from its deep slumber on January 12, unleashing kilometers-high ash column and lava fountain the next day. The volcano’s restive activity led to the destruction of properties in the region and the evacuation of thousands living on the volcano island and high-risk areas.

Duterte signed Proclamation 906 on February 21—a week after state volcanologists downgraded the status of Taal Volcano to Alert Level 2, which signifies “decreased unrest.” The document was made publicly available on Thursday.

The state of calamity will remain in force for a year unless lifted.

The proclamation is based on the recommendation of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Calabarzon.

A state of calamity is meant to fast track the rescue, relief and rehabilitation efforts of the government and the private sector and to control the prices of basic commodities in the affected areas.

The following will now take effect:

  • Departments and concerned agencies are ordered to execute rescue, recovery, relief and rehabilitation work
  • Government agencies are directed to coordinate with, and provide or augment the basic services and facilities of affected LGUs
  • Law enforcement agencies, with support from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, are ordered to undertake necessary measures to ensure peace and order in affected areas.

Latest figure from the NDRRMC showed that 151,827 households or 586,045 individuals were affected by the volcanic unrest in Central Luzon, Calabarzon and Metro Manila.

Over 1,000 families remain inside evacuation centers.

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