MANILA – Police units have been ordered to coordinate with local officials on how minimum health safety protocols would be observed inside evacuation centers in Batangas towns affected by the Taal Volcano unrest.
Philippine National Police chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said on Friday there should be guidelines as Covid-19 remains a threat.
“We will coordinate with local health officials and LGUs (local government units) on how we can implement minimum public health safety standards in evacuation centers. We know the situation in the evacuation centers so we should also have guidelines to avoid possible infection because of the threat of Covid-19,” Eleazar said in a statement.
He also told Brig. Gen. Eliseo Cruz, Regional Director of Region 4A (Calabarzon), to distribute face masks to residents, not just for Covid-19 protection but also against hazardous emission.
Police units in Calabarzon have activated their Disaster Incident Management Task Groups while Police Regional Offices (PRO) in Central Luzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, and the National Capital Region are on standby.
Eleazar reminded residents to follow orders from local authorities for their own safety.
“The public must be alert and follow the orders or reminders of our local officials because it is also for their safety. If you need to evacuate, evacuate immediately and there are facilities available for evacuees. Your police are also ready to support you,” he said in Filipino.
The volcano’s main crater generated a “short-lived” one-kilometer high phreatomagmatic plume at 3:16 p.m. on Thursday with no accompanying earthquake, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), which raised Alert Level 3.
Residents near the volcano and in high-risk barangays in the municipalities of Agoncillo and Laurel have started to evacuate. (PNA)