OVP to include areas affected by Taal eruption in anti-poverty, livelihood projects
MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo said her office is now looking at including areas affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano in the implementation of anti-poverty and livelihood projects.
In an interview on Thursday, Robredo said her office is planning to implement such projects even if residents are still in evacuation centers — similar to what they did for evacuees who fled Marawi City during the 2017 siege.
“Sa Taal, hindi pa kami nag-i-start, pero pinaplano na—pareho noong ginawa namin sa Marawi. Iyong ginawa namin sa Marawi, nasa evacuation centers pa, nagbigay na ng livelihood opportunities for the evacuees,” she told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Makati City.
(In Taal we have not started, but we are planing similarly to what we did in Marawi. In Marawi, we gave livelihood opportunities for evacuees even if they were still inside evacuation centers.)
“Itong sa Batangas, ganoon din iyong pinaplano. Kailangan lang namin matapos iyong, parang, inventory ng ano iyong mga capacities saka ano iyong pagsusuri, kasi karamihan mga farmers saka mga fisherfolks,” she added.
(Here in Batangas, we are planning the same thing. We just need to finish the inventory on the capacities of the evacuees, because most of them are either farmers or fisherfolk.)
According to Robredo, some of the livelihood projects they have initiated in Marawi included the distribution of sewing machines, which enabled people to work and earn even if they are forced to stay inside evacuation centers.
The Office of the Vice President has partnered with private organizations and foundations in implementing anti-poverty programs Angat Buhay and Ahon Laylayan, which targets impoverished communities often not reached by the government’s projects.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) initially said evacuees displaced by the Taal Volcano eruption last January 12 may have to wait for a minimum of two weeks following the eruption before being allowed to return home.
After the eruption, ashfall reached as far as Metro Manila and Central Luzon, prompting Phivolcs to evacuate residents inside the 14-kilometer Taal Volcano radius danger zone.
READ: Taal Volcano erupts
Meanwhile, Robredo said they are still deciding what kind of assistance can be given to the evacuees. She also lauded the efforts of both the public and private sectors, although she urged people to consider planning for rehabilitation as early as now.
“So mag-iisip tayo ng ibang bagay na… iyong pangalawang field, kasi ngayon talaga, siyempre iyong gusto nila makabalik sa dati, pero sinasabi naman natin na walang kasiguraduhan, so dapat paghandaan,” she explained.
(So we are thinking of other things, a second field which they can do, because as of now, what they really want is to go back to their respective industries. But what we are saying is that there is no assurance that they can go back immediately, so we must be prepared.)
“Sana, as early as now, pagplanuhan na iyong rehabilitation. Kasi ngayon, parang karamihan nasa relief mode pa. Pero kahit nagre-relief mode—tutal marami namang tumutulong—pagplanuhan na iyong long-term na rehabilitation, kasi ito talaga iyong magiging madugo,” she added.
(We hope that as early as now, people will plan for the areas’ rehabilitation. Because now, a lot of people are still in relief mode. But even in that mode, since there are so many people helping, it is only fitting to plan for long-term rehabilitation because this is the difficult part.)
Edited by MUF
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