MANILA, Philippines - There is no truth to text rumors that radiation from a nuclear plant in Japan has reached the Philippines, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said Monday.
DOST Secretary Mario Montejo said the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI)'s routine daily radiation monitoring in the environment showed the level of radiation in the environment in the country has remained stable since the Fukushima incident in Japan.
"The advice that people should stay indoors and to wear raincoats if they go outdoors did not come from DOST or any agency member of the National Disaster Coordinating Council," the DOST said in a statement.
The department also advised the public not to believe rumors currently spreading through text messages, emails, the Internet, and other means of communication.
"DOST emphasizes that there is no immediate danger of nuclear radiation in the Philippines," it said.
A DOST-PAGASA plume trajectory study also showed that the plume from the site of the incident at Fukushima will not pass the Philippine territory as of March 14, 2011.
"The direction of the smoke appears to go away from the direction of the country," DOST-PNRI Director Alumanda dela Rosa said. "The smoke is carried away by the northeast monsoon (amihan)."
According to DOST-PAGASA, the direction of the wind will continue to be stable until about May 15, and there is no imminent sign of weather disturbance that may affect the current wind direction.
Dela Rosa said DOST-PNRI's National Radiological Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan has put in place an organized emergency response facility for a timely, coordinated action of the Philippine authorities in the event of a radiological emergency.
Classes not suspended
The Department of Education, meanwhile, said there will be no cancellation of classes since there is no danger of radiation from Japan reaching the country.
"As advised by the Department of Science and Technology, there is no need to suspend classes based on the allegations circulating in text messages about rains that can burn or cause cancer," the DepEd said.
The department issued the advisory after receiving calls from concerned parents about circulating text messages on the radiation scare.
The Polytechnic University of the Philippines canceled classes in all levels Monday afternoon after receiving the calls from parents of students, PUP President Dante Guevarra said.
Stop spreading text hoaxes
Sen. Loren Legarda on Monday called on people to stop spreading rumors of the radiation leak in Japan reaching the Philippines.
"Sa panahon ngayon ng sakuna at trahedya at sa panahon ng krisis sa ibang bansa … hindi siguro dapat magpasimula ng mga maling impormasyon. Ito'y hindi nakakatulong," she said.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte also denounced those creators of text messages spreading rumors of alleged radiation contamination in the country.
“Hindi po ito nakakatulong. Wala pong lugar yung mga ganitong actuations sa ganitong sitwasyon which is already sensitive,” Valte said.