Gov sees bright side of Taal eruption, invites people to visit Batangas
MALVAR, Batangas—The governor of Batangas invited people to come visit the province despite several of its towns suffering severe damage from the eruption of Taal Volcano last Jan. 12, saying visitors could help the province recover.
At the Batangas Economic Recovery Roundtable Friday at the Lima Park Hotel here, Mandanas said towns outside the radius of damage caused by the volcano were unscathed and continued to operate normally. These included key areas like ports, economic zones and industrial sites hosting power plants and oil depots.
Mandanas said many tourist sites were untouched by the eruption, like Taal Basilica in Taal town, beaches in Nasugbu, Lian and Calatagan in the west and Batangas City, Lobo and San Juan in the southeast.
The port of Batangas in Batangas City, southeast of Taal Volcano, remained operational throughout the eruption.
Mandanas said the port even has more passengers than the port of Manila. Economic zones, according to the governor, are found in the towns of Calaca and Malvar, and the cities of Sto. Tomas and Tanauan.
The governor said he didn’t view the eruption as a disaster since the provincial government had been prepared. He said preparations had been underway even at the lowest alert level declared for the volcano.
“No one died. No one was even hospitalized during the eruption,” he said.
Mandanas said the eruption was even a blessing in disguise as it provided a chance to the province to accelerate programs and show stakeholders that towns hit by the eruption would get back on their feet and have sustainable programs for recovery and rehab.
“We will give work similar to what they’re doing,” Mandanas said of residents in permanent danger zones who lost sources of livelihood.
Mandanas said the Taal eruption “solidified the unity and heroism of everyone.”
“And that is really the virtue that we want to emphasize, something that is over, above and beyond what is ordinary,” he said.
“We branded Batangas as rich,” he said. But he said after the eruption, he believed “we are leveling up.”
“We are showing the true spirit of the Filipino in Batangas. And that’s why we changed it to magiting (brave),” he said.
Edited by TSB
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