Palace: Amid Taal Volcano eruption, PH won’t ask for foreign help yet
MANILA, Philippines—The government will accept foreign assistance but will not ask for it yet amid the ongoing eruption of Taal volcano, Malacañang said Thursday, noting that authorities are still capable of responding to the needs of those affected by the calamity.“Sabi nga ni (Defense) Secretary (Delfin) Lorenzana kaya natin. Hindi natin kailangan ng tulong ng ibang bansa sa ngayon,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing
(Secretary Lorenzana already said we can still do it on our own. We don’t need the help of other countries for now.)
But Panelo said the Philippines will accept any aid offered by the international community.
“Siyempre tatanggapin natin. Bakit naman hindi natin tatanggapin (Of course we will accept it. Why shouldn’t we accept it?),” he said.
More than 40,000 residents of Batangas and Cavite have been evacuated after the Taal Volcano, the second most active in the country, spewed a giant ash column on Sunday afternoon, sending a blanket of ash to nearby provinces that also reached Metro Manila.
Taal Volcano is currently under Alert Level 4, which means that a violent eruption may happen within hours or days. The provinces of Batangas and Cavite have already been placed under state of calamity as ash and volcanic material continue to gush from Taal Volcano.
Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado earlier assured that the government has enough funds to cover the disaster response and relief efforts in the affected areas.
Avisado said the government agencies considered as “first responders” to disasters have been given some P7 billion in this year’s national budget.
Edited by MUF
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