Suspension of gov’t work, classes remains in Batangas

The suspension of classes in all levels and work in government in the province of Batangas will remain in force on Tuesday (Jan. 14) due to the heightened activity of Taal Volcano.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said suspension will be in place until further advice of the local government units (LGUs) concerned.

Medialdea made this announcement upon the recommendation of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

He said the suspension does not apply to frontline response agencies involved in disaster response, delivery of basic and health service, and/or other vital services.

The private sector is highly encouraged to suspend work for the safety of their employees, he added.

On the other hand, Medialdea said work in government in the National Capital Region (NCR), Region 3 and the rest of Calabarzon shall resume on Tuesday.

He said he will leave it to local executives to assess the situation in their areas of responsibility and determine if there is a need to suspend classes.

Several local governments in Southern Luzon and Metro Manila have suspended classes on Tuesday as Taal remains restive.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has raised Alert Level 4 over Taal Volcano which means hazardous eruption is possible within days.

Phivolcs also recommended evacuation to all residents within the 14-kilometer radius of the volcano due to high risk to pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami.

As of posting time, at least 10,000 residents have been evacuated in Batangas, Cavite and other areas affected by Taal's eruption.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Monday said the worst-case scenario for Taal Volcano is an eruption with a scale similar to the June 15, 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo which killed 800 people and rendered 200,000 homeless.

Lorenzana, who is also NDRRMC chair, expressed hope that a Pinatubo-like scenario would not happen.

Meanwhile, he assured that there are still enough resources to assist residents affected by Taal Volcano's eruption.

Source: Philippines News Agency