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Image Courtesy of: House of Representative

HOUSE Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on Friday called upon the Department of Health (DoH) and local government units (LGUs) to provide assistance to individuals affected by the volcanic smog, known as vog, originating from Taal Volcano.

He emphasized the importance of helping residents in areas surrounding Taal Volcano, such as Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, and even Metro Manila, in dealing with this temporary issue.

Speaker Romualdez urged the DoH and LGUs to distribute N95 face masks and other protective gear to those affected.

He mentioned that Deputy Majority Leader Erwin Tulfo informed him that the DoH still has an ample supply of N95 face masks acquired during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In order to shield affected residents from volcanic dust and harmful gases, Speaker Romualdez made this request to the DoH through Ako Bicol Partylist Rep. Zaldy Co, who chairs the House Committee on Appropriations.

He suggested that if face masks are currently unavailable, residents could consider using makeshift face coverings such as cloth.

The leader of the 311-member House of Representatives also called upon the DoH and LGUs to be prepared for potential respiratory issues that may arise due to volcanic smog in the affected regions. He recommended prepositioning drugs for respiratory ailments in areas where they might be needed.

Reports on Thursday indicated that haze from Taal Volcano’s emissions had spread over Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, and Metro Manila, leading to the suspension of classes.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) and the air monitoring office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) later clarified that the observed smog originated from vehicle emissions rather than from Taal Volcano. Phivolcs noted that Taal’s emissions were drifting west-westward, away from Metro Manila.