Palace: Duterte healthy enough to visit ashfall-stricken Batangas
By Christia Marie Ramos
2020-01-14 13:47:52

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is healthy enough to visit the province of Batangas, which is severely affected by ashfall triggered by the eruption of Taal Volcano over the weekend, Malacañang assured on Tuesday.

This after the President said his doctor told him to be cautious of the ashfall brought by Taal’s phreatic or steam-driven activity.

“Oo naman. Basta nakatulog siya ng walong oras okay na okay ‘yon,” Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing when asked if the President will be healthy enough to visit the calamity-stricken province.

(Of course. He just needs eight hours of sleep).

READ: Duterte to visit affected areas by Taal eruption

Panelo said the President will probably wear a protective mask during his visit to Batangas as “everyone should.”

“Para safe tayo kung meron pang mga ashfall. Pero wala akong alam dun sa sinabi mong advice ng doktor. Hindi namin napagusapan kagabi,” he said.

(So that we are safe from the ashfall. But I have not been informed of the doctor’s advice. We did not talk about it last night).

The Chief Executive has been seen on multiple occasions with an air purifier hanging  around his neck which is meant to improve the quality of air around the user by filtering it of contaminants, such as dust, pollen, smoke, and other allergens.

READ: Duterte wears ‘air purifier’ to protect him from persons with cough, colds

Duterte’s visit to Batangas

According to Panelo, the President will be briefed by various agencies “presently undertaking measures to help the victims.”

“He wants to see for himself the devastation wrought by the eruption. And from there he would be… I suppose making orders to respond to whatever problems he will see there,” he added.

Over 30,000 residents of Batangas and Cavite have been affected by Taal’s recent eruptive activity, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC).

Of the number, the NDRRMC said 18,187 people or 4,175 families were taken to a temporary shelter in 118 evacuation areas.

Majority of those displaced came from Talisay and San Nicolas in Batangas, the NDRRMC noted.

Taal Volcano is currently on Alert Level 4 which means that “hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days,” according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

Ashfall from Taal, the country’s second-most-active-volcano, affected nearby provinces and has reached as far as Quezon City.

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