Duterte to evacuees: Nobody is allowed to go back until it's safe
BATANGAS CITY - President Rodrigo Duterte advised on Tuesday the families displaced by the Taal Volcano eruption not to return to their homes yet.
Duterte visited some 3,500 evacuees from Lemery, Taal, Agoncillo, and San Nicolas, some of the municipalities in Batangas greatly affected by the volcano eruption, temporarily being served at Batangas Sports Complex gym.
"Nobody is allowed to go back until such time that you are safe," he said in a speech.
He said the national government has given P130 million to the local government of Batangas to assist victims of the eruption.
He vowed that the government would help the displaced families to "immediately" go back to normal lives.
"All the government agencies are here...we are workers of government and we serve the people," he said.
Inside the gym, there were about 50 modular tents where some of the evacuees are staying.
Those who have been occupying the yellow green tents are the first sets of evacuees.
Prior to facing isplaced families, Duterte presided over a situation briefing with Cabinet and local government officials.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana proposed that the island where the volcano is located be declared as "no man's land."
In an earlier interview, Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas said about 30,000 individuals have evacuated and the number could still increase. About 80 percent of them are staying with their relatives, he added. Celerina Monte/DMS