Talisay vice mayor gets warning: Defy lockdown order and face sanctions


Posted at Jan 22 2020 12:29 PM

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MANILA - The Department of the Interior and Local Government will not sanction the vice mayor of Talisay, Batangas for now for questioning Phivolcs warnings over a possible hazardous eruption of Taal Volcano. 

"We'll let him be. He may be just be steaming out whatever he's feeling now or the pressures of him not going back to his municipality together with his constituency," DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III told ANC's Headstart. 

He added: "It's the action which we will consider. So if he starts letting people go back to Talisay including himself, then that's where we put in the potential administrative sanctions." 

Talisay Vice Mayor Charlie Natanauan earlier criticized the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology for allegedly causing alarm with its volcano warnings. He questioned the Phivolcs’ ability to predict an eruption and said his constituents should be allowed to return to their houses.

Talisay is among the 14 towns under lockdown following Taal volcano's eruption last January 12, 2020.

Densing said there is a need to make residents understand the potential danger of returning to their homes.

He suggested spreading instructional, educational materials out to all evacuation centers to communicate to evacuees the current situation and potential impact if they return home and the volcano suddenly erupts.

"We have to communicate efficiently, effectively, and correctly to the people because many of them always have thoughts that because of the experiences of the past years or decades that there are no death experiences whenever Taal volcano erupts, this time we have to tell them the impact of a level 5 explosion of the volcano, make them feel what potentially could happen if they're there during a period of eruption," he said.

He stressed that unlike typhoons, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes can never be predicted.

ANC, January 22, 2020