Duterte approves relocation plan for displaced Taal residents

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 05 2020 09:53 AM

Taal Volcano Island residents, mostly from Barangay Pulang Bato and Alas-as, San Nicolas, Batangas, temporarily relocate to a government housing project in Ibaan, Batangas on January 31, 2020. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte approved on Tuesday the relocation plan for Filipinos displaced by the Taal Volcano eruption last month, his spokesman said Wednesday.

Duterte, during Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, granted the request of Human Settlements Secretary Eduardo del Rosario to give a total of 5,448 housing units to displaced residents, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said.

The housing units were supposedly for soldiers and policemen and are spread across the provinces of Batangas, Laguna, Cavite, and Quezon in the Southern Tagalog region.

“The President approved the request of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development to offer these housing units as a grant to the displaced families instead and commended such act of generosity,” Panelo said.

At least 5,000 households were displaced following the mandatory evacuation from the 7-kilometer radius of the volcano, Del Rosario reported to the President.

Taal erupted on Jan. 12, forcing thousands living around the volcano to flee from their homes.

The ashfall from the volcano reached as far as Metro Manila and Central Luzon, shutting down businesses for days. 

As of Wednesday morning, alert level 3 is still raised over Taal which means that lethal volcanic gas expulsions are still possible.