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Vol. XCI No. 14

Jan. 17, 2020

Despite no human deaths, the situation brought about by the incoming eruption of Taal Volcano in Batangas offers a harrowing perspective into the massive humanitarian efforts needed to reel from this crisis. 

The surrounding areas have come into contact with the ash as much enough 800 meters high, enough to fall for days on places as far as the NCR region. The ash poses serious respiratory risks and has severely damaged the agriculture in the surrounding area topping up at P577.59 million since the first day. Together with unreported property damage, the costs will only go up from here. As of the writing of this editorial, close to 36,000 people have been evacuated  

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) of region IV-A has mustered over 2,000 volunteers focused on packing and distributing relief goods. 250 volunteers from the same region have also begun packing family food packs as early as January 7, last week.

President Duterte ordering the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to allocate P1.5 billion of the Department of Agriculture’s 2020 budget; P2.5 billion for the Department of Education; P600 million for the Department of Health; P250 million for the Office of Civil Defense; P1 billion for the Department of Public Works and Highways; and P1.2 billion for the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

But it is not only the Government sending out waves of relief goods. Prominent personalities have also made their efforts known. Among them, Journalist Korina Sanchez went to Instagram to urge the people on the ground to prioritize saving animals just as much as fellow humans. Celebrity doctor Vicki Belo along with Manila Mayor Isko Moreno has donated P500,000 through the Philippine Red Cross.

The country’s oldest business house Ayala Corporation (AC) have also mobilized various companies under the group to work together with the LGUs. Manila water has cooperated with the NDRRMC to sending 30 water tankers to various evacuation areas in Batangas such as the Bolbok Provincial Sports Complex. The conglomerate has also ordered its pharma, local malls, and Globe Telecom are in full-capacity to cater to the needs of those affected.

Meanwhile, the Silliman University Student Government (SUSG) has rallied the university in asking for anything from N95 face masks, to bottled water, and food. They have also rallied students and staff to express their solidarity for the environment through dance. 

tWS lauds the efforts of the Silliman University Administration and the SUSG in doing their earnest to help out those affected by the ashes of Taal while still keeping track of existing advocacies. Which proves that in this particular time, you can Tala away while helping those near Taal.


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