Batangas mayors vow to ensure residents' safety

Josiah Antonio, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 14 2020 05:20 AM

Several mayors in Batangas said they are doing their best to ensure the safety of their residents.

This after the province was placed under a state of calamity amid ashfall from Taal volcano. 

For San Nicolas Mayor Lester de Sagun, this is just another struggle to show the camaraderie of every Batangueno.

“Hindi naman ito ipagkakaloob sa ating ng Panginoon kung hindi natin kakayanin. Ito pong sitwasyong ito ay nagpapakita na ang bawat isang Batangueno, ang [angking] galing ng bawat isa sa pagtutulungan,” Sagun told radio DZMM. 

“Sa aming mga kalapit-bayan, huwag po kayong magsasawang tumulong sa ating mga kababayan dahil wala naman pong gusto ng ganitong sitwasyon,” he added. 

Sagun also advised residents not to go back to their homes for their own safety. “Kung makita man nilang may kaunting damage ang kanilang bahay, wala naman din tayong agad magagawa sa kanila. Hayaan na muna,” he said. 

Balate Mayor Wilson Maralit said he wants to be the last one to leave the area.

“Ako po’y dalawang araw na pong hindi natutulog. Ako’y po hindi kaya talagang makatulog hangga’t may isa akong kababayang hindi lumilikas talaga. Ako po’y pumupunta sa kanilang at nagmamakaawa sa kanilang lisanin ang kanilang lugar,” he said. 

Eulalio “Larry” Alilio, mayor of Lemery, also called on residents to listen and follow orders from authorities as they are just concerned for their safety.

According to him, people were just worried for their safety at night but fortunately evacuated everyone afterwards. 

“Para na pong ghost town at puro lubak na lang pero pipilitin po naming bumangon. Babangon kami kasama ang aming mga kababayan,” he said. 

In the city of Taal, Mayor Fulgencio “Pong” Mercado reported that 20 percent of his constituents have yet to evacuate.

In line with the state of their province, Agoncillo mayor Daniel Reyes calls for relief as they are facing multiple volcanic earthquakes.

Santa Teresita mayor Norberto Segunial Jr. also asked for paramedics to give aid to evacuees who are sick.

Mayor Janet Ilagan of Mataas na Kahoy echoed Reyes saying the that the volcanic activity of Taal is indefinite.

“Hindi po natin alam kung hanggang kailan po itong kinakaharap po natin kaya po continuous po ang aming paghingi ng donations,” she said. 

Edilberto Ponggos, mayor of Alitagtag, advised people to donate relief goods that they can cook or ready to eat goods that can be easily distributed. 

“Ang mga relief goods hindi po namin direktang binibigay dahil wala po silang paglulutuan. Kami na po ang naghahanda ng kanilang pagkain. Kami po ang naghahanda ng kanilang breakfast, lunch at dinner,” he said.