No more ‘window hours’ in Taal towns under lockdown
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday ordered the scrapping of the window hours being given to residents affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano while the status remains on Alert Level 4.
The DILG earlier put 14 towns in Batangas and 1 town in Cavite on total lockdown in order to prevent residents from returning to their homes while the situation is still critical.
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the decision to set aside window hours was reached upon the recommendation of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).
“We allowed the LGUs, the local chief executives to decide, to give window hours but depending on the input of the Phivolcs. Actually, I will provide instruction to the LGUs, yung mga nakapag provide na ng window hours, stop na yun. Hindi pwedeng araw araw,” Año said.
(We allowed the LGUs, the local chief executives to decide, to give window hours but depending on the input of the Phivolcs. Actually, I will provide instruction to the LGUs that those who have provided window hours should be stopped. It should not be allowed every day.)
“Nagbigay na tayo ng kaunting humanitarian concerns. As I said, hindi natin alam kung kailan puputok yan. As long as we are at alert level 4, dapat iimpose natin yung lockdown at saka mandatory evacuation,” he added.
(We allowed it out of humanitarian concerns. As I said, we do not know when Taal will erupt. As long as it is on Alert Level 4, the lockdown and the mandatory evacuation should be imposed.)
Evacuees temporarily taking shelter in evacuation centers were reportedly allowed by authorities to return to their homes to check their livelihood and get their belongings.
Phivolcs, however, reiterated its warning against returning to areas near the Taal since a hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours or days.
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