By Wilnard Bacelonia

Kanlaon Volcano (Photo courtesy of PBCFI)

MANILA – Senate Majority Leader Francis Tolentino and Senator Lito Lapid on Wednesday called on concerned government agencies to ensure the needs of residents affected by the eruption of Kanlaon Volcano.

In a news release, Tolentino stressed the importance of ensuring the supply of clean water in affected areas.

“Regarding the water supply in Kanlaon, although there is abundant water, it may be contaminated by ashfall. Coordination with local water districts is necessary,” he said.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development is currently reviewing agreements with water utilities to secure clean water.

Around 2,000 residents of 20 barangays in Negros Occidental and Oriental have been affected, with 1,400 sheltered in evacuation centers.

The DSWD has provided aid such as food packs, sleeping kits, and facemasks to mitigate health risks.

Meanwhile, Lapid called on the local governments to implement price control to prevent unscrupulous traders from taking advantage of the situation.

He also backed Canlaon City Mayor Jose Chubasco Cardenas’ decision to declare a state of calamity after the volcano erupted.

Kailangan ng ating mga apektadong kababayan ng kagyat na tulong sa pamamagitan ng mabilis na paglalabas ng sapat na pondo para sa kanilang pangangailangan, lalo na sa sektor ng kalusugan at agrikultura (Our affected countrymen need immediate assistance through the quick release of sufficient funds for their needs, especially in the health and agriculture sectors),” he said.

Lapid also advised the provincial government of Negros Occidental to prepare for the worst scenario in case the volcano continues to erupt and pose grave threats to the health and lives of residents. (PNA)