Press Release
January 28, 2020


With the Philippine Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) lowering Taal Volcano's alert status to Level 3, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) is set to shift its operation in the area to rehabilitation phase.

Senator Richard J. Gordon, PRC chairman and CEO, after a discussion with Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas over the weekend, instructed PRC Chapter Administrator Ronald Generoso to conduct further discussion with the governor. Mandanas disclosed that they are planning to put up tent cities where evacuees can stay until they can move back to their own homes.

"We can provide family tents to each family where they can sleep with privacy. But we will also set up rub halls which will serve as their dining areas, separate tents for socialization activities, place of worship, and other group activities," he assured the governor.

Gordon also disclosed that there are already national societies who committed to provide funding for the rehabilitation phase, which includes rehabilitating or building damaged houses, schools, and other buildings; providing livelihood and distributing cash grants.

"We are already coordinating with our partner national societies to ensure that, like how we worked in Yolanda, assistance will be distributed evenly to our target population, that the operation will be organized. What I am proposing is to use P2-million of the money that the Spanish Red Cross and the German Red Cross will donate to build houses. The important thing is to remove the pressure of evacuation from the schools so the children can resume their classes," the PRC chairman said.

"Another important point is to designate permanent relocation sites for families who were displaced from the danger zones so they wouldn't have to go back to there to live. If they would insist on going back, pwede silang bumalik doon pero para magtanim o maghanap-buhay lang pero uuwi din sila. Hindi na sila dapat tumira doon dahil bulkan yun at nandun lagi yung posibilidad na mag-erupt ito," he added.

Phivolcs on Sunday lowered Taal Volcano's alert status to Level 3, two weeks after the volcano's eruption on January 12 that led to a forced evacuation of thousands of families in the surrounding areas.

The agency said Alert Level 3 indicates a decreased tendency towards hazardous explosive eruption but it should not be interpreted that (the volcano's) unrest has ceased or that the threat of a hazardous eruption has disappeared. Even at Alert Level 3, there could be sudden steam-driven and even weak phreatomagmatic explosions, volcanic eartquakes, ashfall and lethal volcanic gas expulsions.

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