SAN FERNANDO CITY -- Pampanga province deployed a humanitarian team to Batangas province to assist victims of Taal volcano, hoping to give up after it survived the eruption of Pinatubo nearly 3 decades ago, officials said.
The team composed of 200 volunteers on board 60 vehicles left the provincial capitol here late Monday for a relief and medical assistance mission.
Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991, burying entire towns in debris in one of the world's most destructive volcanic events. Taal spewed a giant ash column last Sunday, with a "hazardous" eruption still likely.
“Naiintindihan natin kung gaano kahirap that time nung tayo ang tinamaan. Remember yung mga tumulong sa atin at that time... tayo naman ang tutulong ngayon,” said Pampanga Gov. Dennis Pineda
(We know how hard the situation is. Remember the people who helped us that time. Now it’s time for us to help.)
The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council decided on sending the humanitarian team last Sunday.
"Alam namin kung ano ang epekto nito sa kabuhayan (We know how this affects people's livelihood)," said Provincial Health Officer Dr. Marcelo Jaochico.
Jaochico recalled how the eruption destroyed fish pens in his home town, Masantol.
"Tutulungan natin ang probinsyang ito. Alam natin na ganito rin ang mararanasan nila kailangan silang makatayo rin gaya sa atin," added Jaochico.
(We will help this province. We know what they are going through and like us, they will rise again.)