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Senator seeks rehab assistance for Taal eruption victims

Over 900 families displaced by the Taal Volcano eruption in January are still residing in evacuation centers in Talisay, Batangas and should receive assistance from the government as their ordeal has been coupled with the threats of COVID-19, according to Senator Francis Tolentino on Thursday.

"Many of them rely on the tourism-related activities including fisheries in the Taal volcano island. But it is now, as it has been declared, no man’s land. It is for the government to provide government assistance to them," Tolentino said in a statement.

The senator made this call after the Senate on Wednesday adopted P.S. Resolution No. 297, which he and Senator Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa filed, urging the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development and other concerned agencies to craft a sustainable resettlement and rehabilitation program for the affected residents in Calabarzon.

"Hanggang ngayon po nandoon pa rin ang marami sa kanila sa evacuation centers... They are not yet forgotten. The damages brought about by the Taal volcano should never be forgotten," Tolentino said.

Taal Volcano's unrest which started in January sent thousands of southern Luzon residents fleeing from their homes in areas declared as danger zones.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology gradually downgraded the volcano's alert status to Level 1 on March 19 after weeks of low-level activity. —LDF, GMA News