Batangas police give residents two-hour window to enter lock down areas
The Batangas provincial police director Thursday said residents are allowed to enter lock down areas for two hours.
In a radio interview, Police Col. Edwin Quilates said local government officials requested to chiefs of police to allow residents to check their houses, recover belongings they can still use and to feed their animals.
“One entry, one exit, all names are written in a logbook. I allowed them two hours to feed the animal and check their things,” Quilates said.
“This will be also our help to them because it is really stressful… this could be a stress reliever for them and to stop them from worrying and thinking. We allowed them,” he said.
But Quilates reminded residents that if they exceed two hours, police officers will order them to go out. The two-hour window is applicable only in the morning.
Quilates said the number of residents who are checking the status of their houses is manageable as there is not much public transportation in the area.
“Our border perimeter task force can check on them and asked them to go out if needed,” he said.
The municipalities of Agoncillo, San Nicolas, Talisay, and Taal were under complete lockdown.
Quilates said they set up checkpoints in the entry and exit of these municipalities.
“We were immediately given instruction by our regional director, Police Brigadier General Vicente Danao Jr to organize a border perimeter security task force so that no one can enter on the entry and exit points of the municipalities. In Talisay, there are five entry and exit (points), two in San Nicolas and two also in Agoncillo,” he said.
To prevent people from looting, Batangas police also created an anti-looting task force with the help of regional mobile force battalions.
“So we have personnel on patrol on the declared lock down municipalities to ensure there will be no looting or loiter who will get things from abandoned houses,” said Quilates.
In a statement, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has called on the public “not to risk their safety and their lives” and to abide by the 14-kilometer radius danger zone of Taal Volcano because of the continuous exposure to the hazards in the wake of the volcanic eruption.
Among the local government units with barangays within the 14-kilometer danger zone are: Agoncillo, Alitagtag, Balete, Cuenca, Laurel, Lemery, Lipa City, Malvar, Mataasnakahoy, San Nicolas, Sta. Teresita, Taal, Talisay and Tanauan City, all in Batangas; and Tagaytay City in Cavite.
Based on the list provided by Phivolcs, two hundred and thirteen barangays in Batangas are susceptible to base surges; twenty-eight barangays in Cavite are exposed to possible ballistic projectile; and 124 barangays in Cavite and eight in Laguna may experience possible volcanic tsunami.
DILG reiterated that Taal Volcano island is completely off limits and the Philippine National Police- Maritime Group and the Philippine Coast Guard will stop anyone trying to return. Ella Dionisio/DMS