Salceda on Taal eruption investigation: Help first, probe later
MANILA, Philippines —For Congressman Joey Salceda, lawmakers should focus—for now—on helping victims instead of investigating the alleged lapses by authorities in the wake of Taal Volcano’s eruption.
This comes after Cavite 4th District Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. passed a resolution urging the House of Representatives to probe, among others, the “lack of dissemination of information” of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on the hazards of the eruption.
“Kapag ganitong mga panahon, dapat nagkakaisa (During these times, we should unite.). Help first, comment later and in respect to Barzaga, although I appreciate the empirical things there, I think the basic duty of Congress is not to investigate,” Salceda said at the Usaping Balita Media Forum in Quezon City.
“Dapat i-prioritize yung pag-provide ng material assistance,” he added.
(We should prioritize extending material assistance.)
Salceda said investigating authorities would not only disturb their operations at the moment but it would also cause the public to lose confidence in them.
The public’s loss of confidence towards authorities, Salceda said, is a “disaster” in itself.
“Unang-una, hindi natin pwedeng istorbohin yung mga otoridad na ginagawa naman ang lahat. Sabihin na nating mali rin, kulang, pero ginagawa nila,” Salceda said.
(First of all, we cannot disturb authorities who are doing their best. We can say they are wrong, they had lapses, but they are doing their job.)
“In itself, a public that does not have trust in authority is already a disaster. We’d rather have confidence, no matter how fragile, on our authorities at least it gives us the chance na tumama yung kanilang ginagawa (to correct their work),” he added.
According to Barzaga, there should be an investigation on whether the Phivolcs conducted “comprehensive monitoring” of the situation and if it has the “technical expertise to make timely forecast of the Taal Volcano eruption.”
The Cavite solon noted how there was “clearly a lack of dissemination of information in the hazards of volcanic activity of Taal Volcano” to the public and nearby affected areas.
Barzaga added that appropriate charges should be filed against “unscrupulous persons” who sold face masks and food supply at an “unreasonable” cost.
Edited by MUF
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