(Eagle News)-President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday, Jan. 14, said he was satisfied with the response of government agencies to Taal’s volcanic activity that has prompted the evacuation of thousands.
“I am very satisfied with the response of everybody. The fact that no one was killed and that there’s nobody really sick,” the President said during a situation briefing when he visited Batangas City, one of the most affected.
According to Duterte, local and national government agencies must stay in the affected areas “for a while until such time we are ready to declare that the crisis is over.”
In his speech, the President also ordered the “simultaneous” building of evacuation centers, especially in disaster-prone areas Leyte, Samar and Isabela.
“I hope that you can finish it before my term ends. I want projects that are doable and can be finished during my term,” Duterte said.
In his speech, the President even apologized to the public for what he said was his not being around during the phreatic eruption.
He said he was in Davao, “but I was preparing to leave that night when I was informed that I could not make it because of the ash.”
“So early morning, I insisted that I have to be here because there is a crisis at pinilit ko yung eroplano,” he said.
Taal remains under an alert level 4, which means an explosive eruption was imminent.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has reiterated the need for an evacuation from volcano island and areas within the 14-kilometer Taal radius.