WATCH | PHIVOLCS urges no room for complacency over Mt. Mayon; Duterte visits, pledges cash, portalets


The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) urged the people living around erupting Mt. Mayon to be ever watchful over the behavior of the volcano, emphasizing that any lull should not be interpreted as a signal to be complacent.

PHIVOLCS Director Renato Solidum explained that the restive state may wane or intensify unpredictably, but definitely pressure continues to build toward a possibly catalcysmic explosive eruption.

In the face of the recent rainy weather, the flow of lahar has crept down almost to the limits of the six-kilometer danger zone from the crater.

President Rodrigo Duterte personally visited Albay Province on Monday afternoon to address officials and catechize about updates and details on the ongoing eruption of Mt. Mayon.

Along with the president were cabinet members Agriculture Secretary Manuel Piñol, Legal Adviser Salvador Panelo, Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Francis Tolentino and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) Board Member Sandra Cam.

The number of families being served in the evacuation centers have reached approximately 30,000.

Concerned about possible health risks, President Duterte wanted proper health support to be given to the evacuees.

“Aside from food, I’m interested in the hygiene situation,” the President said, “Also, portable toilets. If there is a shortage, let me know.”

Meanwhile, the President also initially prepared PhP20 million pesos for quick-term assistance, plus another P5 million from PCSO.

Duterte asked Cam: “Pwede mo dagdagan (Can you bump it up)? Can I ask for 30 million?”

On Tuesday, the president is expected to disburse an additional 50 million pesos.

Meanwhile, Defense Secretary suggested the possibility of declaring the 6-km danger zone as a long term “no man’s land” to prevent village folk from returning to the high-risk areas even after the volcanic activity has subsided.

President Duterte left the area with a promise that further help and support would be forthcoming before Saturday.