Palace suspends gov’t work, classes in Calabarzon, NCR, Region 3

MalacaAang has ordered the suspension of classes and government work on Monday in Calabarzon (Region IV-A), the National Capital Region (NCR), and Region 3 due to the eruption of Taal Volcano.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, by the authority of the President, has directed the suspension of classes and government in the three regions upon the recommendation of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

However, he said the suspension of work does not apply to frontline response agencies involved in disaster response, delivery of basic and health service, and/or other vital services.

Palace has also highly encouraged the private sector to suspend work for the safety of their employees.

Meanwhile, the Palace has advised those affected by Taal's eruption to cooperate with government response teams.

The public has been asked to stay safe by monitoring official advisories and notices from pertinent agencies of the government, he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier ordered authorities to undertake measures necessary to place the people within the perimeter of Taal Volcano out of the danger zone.

On Sunday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) raised Alert Level 4 over Taal Volcano which means hazardous eruption is possible within days.

Phivolcs also recommended evacuation to all residents within the 14-kilometer radius of the volcano due to high risk to pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami.

Phivolcs director Science Undersecretary Renato Solidum said the eruption was a result of hydrothermal activities of the country's smallest volcano.

Areas in the general north of Taal Volcano are advised to be on the lookout for the possible effects of heavy and prolonged ashfall.

Civil aviation authorities must advise aircraft to avoid the airspace around Taal Volcano as airborne ash and ballistic fragments from the eruption column pose hazards to aircraft.

Flights canceled

Some flights at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have been suspended until further notice upon orders from the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

Manila International Airport Authority (MAIA) chief Ed Monreal said runways and ramps of the airport have accumulated ash.

He also appealed to passengers to go to NAIA as flights have been suspended indefinitely.

Over 100 flights have been canceled and diverted due to the suspension of airport operations.

Health advisory

The Department of Health (DOH) also reminded residents in affected areas to evacuate as harsh conditions may be experienced after exposure to volcanic ash and gases, such as nose and throat irritation, coughing, bronchitis-like illness, discomfort while breathing, eye irritation, and minor skin problems.

Those experiencing these symptoms were asked to seek immediate medical attention.

The public was asked to remain indoors and minimize outdoor activities. Those who need to go outside should use an N95 mask and wear protective gear, including goggles.

Those evacuating were also advised to exercise caution when driving in low visibility and bring extra water for cleaning front mirrors in case of heavy ashfall.

Laging Handa ops in place

The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) has activated its Laging Handa operations to keep the public updated on all developments through all government media following Taal Volcano's eruption.

The PCOO's monitoring of the situation will involve state-run People's Television, Philippine News Agency, Philippine Broadcasting Service, Bureau of Communications Services, Philippine Information Agency, and Radio Television MalacaAang.

PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar called on affected residents to heed the orders of their respective local government units.

The public has been advised to provide a helping hand and be of service to their fellowmen who are in need.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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