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Palace assures residents of gov’t readiness in possible Mayon volcano eruption

| January 18, 2018

Mayon_Volcano_panoramic

Legazpi City, Albay – Malacañang on Thursday, January 18, assured residents of Albay that the Duterte administration is ready to respond to threats of a possible hazardous eruption from the Mayon Volcano.

“[T]he Palace is with you especially in these trying times… Kasama po ninyo at kaakibat ninyo po si Presidente Duterte dito po sa Legazpi, Albay,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Jr. said in a press briefing held here.

Secretary Roque said the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and other related line agencies were all geared up for any possible worst-case scenario brought by the intensified activities around the volcano.

Moreover, Roque said the Bicol Region Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DRRMC), the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), and the Albay local government were continuously monitoring the situation for the safety of affected communities.

Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary and PHIVOLCS officer-in-charge Dr. Renato Solidum Jr. said Alert Level 3 remains raised over Mayon, which means it is in a relatively high level of unrest. He said there was no measurable change recorded so far.

On the provision of relief assistance, DSWD Assistant Regional Director for Operations Arwin Razo assured the public that the agency has adequate food supplies to be distributed to evacuees in case of Mayon’s “prolonged characteristics.”

“We have standby funds which can be utilized at any given time just to provide for the needs of our affected families and population,” Razo said.

Additionally, Department of Health (DOH) Regional Director Dr. Napoleon Arevalo stressed that the agency has ample supplies of medicines and other logistics available for affected communities.

The DOH regional office also heightened its disease surveillance across the 30 evacuation centers in the province to prevent outbreaks. To date, 8,623 families or 34,996 individuals have been transferred to the evacuation centers.

Meanwhile, Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara voiced out the local government’s concern regarding the accessibility of funds for the province’s disaster relief efforts. He said LGUs had to use their savings to respond to the calamity as they await funds from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

Secretary Roque for his part assured the local government of Albay that he would relay their concerns to the President, noting that the Chief Executive is for the continuous empowerment of LGUs.

He also guaranteed the availability of funds from the national government in support of efforts to respond to the calamity. Roque said the DSWD and the DOH alone had allocated P22-million worth of relief assistance for Mayon evacuees.

“I’m sure there would be further assistance forthcoming… Huwag po kayong mag-alala. Meron po talaga tayong nakalaan sa pantaunang budget para sa mga man-made or natural calamities,” he added.

Meanwhile, Roque said he would also discuss with Education Secretary Leonor Briones the need to set up temporary school facilities for Albay students whose classrooms were currently being used as evacuation centers.

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