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Challenges ahead for gov’t in plan to ban human settlement in Taal Volcano island

A fisherman catches fish as the Taal Volcano continuously errupts in Talisay, Batangas, Philippines, January 16, 2020. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

Sen. Francis Tolentino expects that the national government will have difficulties preventing people from returning to the Taal Volcano island in Batangas.

President Rodrigo Duterte has declared Taal Volcano island as ‘no man’s land’ after its phreatic eruption and released ash which forced residents in the area to evacuate.

Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana also said that President Duterte has approved the recommendation to ban human settlement in the island due to the threat of a violent explosion by  the Taal Volcano.

Tolentino, who formerly served as crisis manager for the 2018 eruption of Mayon Volcano in Albay, said that the National Housing Authority and other government agencies should already plan for the relocation and the livelihood of affected residents.

The senator also mentioned that the area around Taal Volcano is a tourist spot.

Tolentino further pointed out that the area around Mayon Volcano has also been declared as ‘no man’s land’ but residents returned to the place after the volcano started to calm down.

Isang malaking hamon kung paano isasakatuparan iyan,” Tolentino said in an interview with DZRH.

Even with alert level 4 still raised over Taal Volcano, residents have already started to return to the island in order to recover their belongings and animals.

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