NDRRMC says assistance given to Taal victims breaches P17M mark

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DSWD personnel prepare thousands of boxes of relief goods for Taal volcanic eruption victims. (Photo by BENJIE CUARESMA/IAMIGO/Currentph.com)

MANILA, Philippines — The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Sunday revealed that Taal evacuees have been given P17,227,950.61 worth of assistance by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH) and local government units.

In its situational report during the weekend, the  NDRRMC cite that 22,472 families or 96,061 people have been affected in Batangas, Laguna and Cavite by Taal Volcano’s eruption.

Of this number, 16,174 families or 70,413 people are staying temporarily in 300 evacuation centers.

According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS),  alert Level 4 is still in effect over Taal Volcano on Saturday morning, with a hazardous explosive eruption possible within hours to days.

A total of 691 volcanic earthquakes have been recorded by the Philippine Seismic Network from 1 p.m. of January 12 until Saturday, January 19.

Of this number, 175 had magnitudes ranging from 1.2 to 4.1 and were felt at Intensities I to V.

As of Saturday, power has been restored in 17 cities and municipalities in Cavite, Laguna and Batangas.

The DOH deployed to Batangas five Health Emergency Response Teams from five DOH hospitals: Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital and Sanitarium, Rizal Medical Center, Quirino Memorial Medical Center, Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center and National Children’s Hospital.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said it has conducted cleaning and clearing of ashfall, hauling of ashes, and pruning of trees on road sections outside danger zone.

The Philippine National Police (PNP)- Balete Municipal Station, Philippine Navy  (PN) and Philippine Air Force (PAF) on Saturday patrolled the territorial waters of Balete, Batangas to prevent evacuees from returning to their homes.

Meanwhile,  private donors in Quezon City, including transport and labor groups, prepared relief goods on Sunday for more than 10,000 evacuees in neighboring Batangas province who fled their homes due to the eruption of Taal Volcano a week ago.

The instant noodles,  rice, canned goods, napkins, diapers,  and hygiene kits will be sent to evacuees in San Luis town, south of the capital.

The Metro Manila Hatchback Community (MMHC), Defend Job Philippines, Laban TNVS, Lawyers for Commuters Safety and Protection, and the Quezon City Anti-Corruption were among the groups that made the donations.

MMHC chairman Jun De Leon said an earlier batch of relief goods collected last Tuesday went to about 760 families in the same town.

De Leon said the groups hoped to gather more funds for the relief effort through a January 27 benefit concert at the 70s Bistro in Anonas, Quezon City.

Singer Joey Ayala and band Brownman Revival would perform for free during the concert.

Last January 12, Taal  released a giant ash cloud that reached Metro Manila, which temporarily suspended operations at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and damaged more than P3 billion worth of crops and livestock.

The second-highest alert in  a 5-step system remains hoisted over the volcano, which means “hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days,” said state seismologists. (Stacy Ang/IAMIGO/Currentph.com)

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