Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana recommended that the volcanic island be declared “no man’s land” or an area not suitable for occupation or habitation. “Don’t let the people go back. In case there is a more violent explosion, the people there will perish,” he said in a Philstar report.
Science and Technology Sec. Fortunato dela Peña also called for a “no human settlement policy on Taal Island.”
At a situation briefing yesterday, January 14, Lorenzana said Pres. Rodrigo Duterte “approved the recommendation a while ago.” He said in an Inquirer report, “I [strongly] believe that we should strictly implement the recommendation that Taal Island be declared no man’s land.”
However, Duterte has not given a categorical answer to the recommendation, according to Rappler. Speaking before evacuees in Batangas, he said in a Philstar report, “Nobody is allowed to go back until such time that it is safe.”
Since the eruption on January 12, more than 30,000 locals from Batangas and Cavite have been evacuated, according to Inquirer. Batangas, which is where Taal Volcano is located, has been placed under a state of calamity.
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