Medialdea supports SP Sotto’s idea on cloud seeding to eradicate ashfall


MANILA, Philippines — EXECUTIVE Sec. Salvador  Medialdea is greatly considering to recommend cloud seeding operations by the government to  eradicate ashfall debris, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said yesterday.

“Yes. ES said they will consider. PAF (Philippine Air Force) already informed of my suggestion,” Sotto said.

He said the PAF  has a group that handles that, and  “they are studying it as we speak.”

He said   that Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Commanding General Lt. General Rozzano Briguez  of the Air Force said they wait till their planes can fly within the areas concerned  and when the phreatic explosions will no longer affect their engines.

According to Sotto,  no need to wait for the rain so he suggested the cloud seeding  action in the Taal Volcano affected areas.

“I sent word to the Executive Department  through (Sen.) Bong Go and ES Medialdia,” said Sotto.

He said that water solves the ashfall debris. He said senators are supporting his suggestion.

For his part, Senator Panfilo Lacson said Sotto’s cloud seedling proposal makes a lot of sense because will allow dust particles to settle down.

Lacson  cited experts’ statements that  the small particles from ashfall and its chemical components which cannot be  detected are poisonous. He noted that it can also affect the respiratory system.

“When  vehicles passed,  when one is walking especially  in  areas directly affected, one can really inhale the dust,” said Lacson.

“So cloud seeding, that’s a good proposal, not only because it came from the SP but it makes a lot of sense. It’s a very sensible suggestion that the government should do,” he further said.

Lacson  said it is not  advisable to use water to clean ashfall because it will harden like cement and clog drainage.

The immediate solution, he said,  is to wash away the particles.

Meanwhile, former Sen. JV Ejercito said eruption of Taal may not be as powerful as Pinatubo’s but the effect might be bigger because it affected CALABARZON which is one of the more economically developed regions in the country.  

While Taal is the smallest volcano in the world, Ejercito however  said it is considered “deadly” because about 25 million people are living  in about 100 kilometers in its proximity.

He emphasized that this will affect more people than Pinatubo because of the development in Southern Luzon. (Stacy Ang/IAMIGO/

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