Philippine Coast Guard evacuates residents living near Taal Volcano as a precautionary measure, following the volcano’s recent increase in seismic activities. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Feb 17 (Mabuhay) — Some displaced residents from Taal Volcano Island have been returning to their place within the permanent danger zone to attend to their livelihood, Batangas Vice Governor Mark Leviste said Wednesday.

Leviste said the provincial government has been giving assistance to its residents affected by the forced evacuation implemented within the island.

“Ang sinasabi daw ng iba, sila ay hindi naman permanente nang nakatira doon sa volcano island kung hindi sila ay nagpapahinga tuwing sila ay nagbabantay ng fish cages,” he said.

“Sila ay nagpapahinga sa tabing dagat ng Taal Volcano Island pero nabalik naman daw po kapag gabi na o wala nang trabaho,” he added.

According to Leviste, most of the residents, if not all, have their permanent homes or living with relatives in the mainland.

Currently, three evacuation centers are open to affected residents that are located in Barangays Aya, Poblacion 5, and Tumaway in Talisay.

Leviste said that the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB), chaired by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), is tasked to manage the area of the Taal Lake and Volcano.

Taal Volcano is still under Alert Level 1, according to Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology director Renato Solidum on Wednesday. Sixty-nine tremor activities were recorded in the past 24 hours, he added.

On Tuesday, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) spokesperson Mark Timbal said some families returned to the volcano island when Taal Volcano became quiet.

“It was also found out that some families returned to the island when Taal quieted down earlier.  Na-evacuate na din po sila ng mga kasamahan natin sa Coast Guard,” Timbal told reporters in a message.

Likewise, Timbal said the Batangas Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council is currently handling the situation in Taal Volcano.

Moreover, he said, “The Batangas Provincial DRRM Council po remains on top of the situation, naka-support po ang Regional DRRM Council for CALABARZON at nakamonitor po tayo dito sa NDRRMC.”

He clarified, “The Batangas PDRRM Council po, in coordination with other relevant government agencies, are providing the services for those who were evacuated from the island.”

On Tuesday, personnel of the Philippine Coast Guard undertook forced evacuation in Taal Volcano Island amid increasing seismic activities recorded in the area.

Some of the evacuees however expressed concern that they have yet to receive housing or financial assistance from the government since the January 2020 eruption. (MNS)

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