Duterte postpones Leyte event due to Taal unrest

President Rodrigo Duterte postponed his scheduled engagement in San Isidro, Leyte on Tuesday to a later date due to Taal's eruption, MalacanaAg said on Monday.

Duterte was supposed to lead the distribution of benefits to rebel returnees at the San Isidro Civic Center (SICC) in San Isidro, Leyte.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Palace has yet to announce the President's updated schedule.

However, Duterte is set to push through with his scheduled visit to the Philippine Marine Corps at the Naval Station Jose Francisco in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City on Monday.

The Marines event this afternoon will push through, Panelo said, referring to Duterte's attendance in the awarding of presidential citations and a ceremonial hand-over of firearms.

Duterte arrived in Manila on Monday morning after his plane initially had difficulty taking off after ashfall from Taal's eruption caused zero visibility in some areas in the south.

The President could not fly to Manila last (Sunday) night because visibility was -- and could still be zero, Panelo said.

Senator Christopher Bong Go, Duterte's former aide, also shared photos of the President assessing the aftermath of the Taal Volcano eruption through his airplane window.

With constant heavy ashfall being recorded, the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) reminded affected residents to coordinate with relevant government agencies.

We again enjoin everyone as to observe all safety and precautionary measures recommended and provided to prevent any consequential health problems and casualties from the hazardous emissions and tremors, PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar said in a statement.

Andanar said the Chief Executive has instructed government agencies to provide assistance to those affected by the eruption.

The President has also ordered the Department of Health (DOH) to provide face masks especially to those who are in the affected areas, he added.

He also warned business enterprises to abide by the suggested retail prices of face masks and other basic necessities or face penalties.

Meanwhile, he vowed to continue to coordinate with relevant government agencies in order to update everyone on the situation on the Taal Volcano unrest.

PCOO earlier activated its Laging Handa operations to provide the public integrated information on the latest developments and advisories through government media.

Source: Philippines News Agency