Lawmakers continued to distribute face masks and other supplies to residents of Batangas affected by the volcanic smog or vog due to the emissions of Taal Volcano.
Meanwhile, Rep. Ray T. Reyes of Anakalusugan party-list appealed to the Department of Health to distribute N95 face masks and other protective equipment to local governments and affected communities as a precaution to future vog incidences.
Reyes, vice chair of the House committee on health, said his group made rounds in several towns in the province over the weekend to donate face masks as a response to the lingering vog from Taal.
Earlier, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano donated thousands of face masks to Batangueños through his Emergency Response Department (ERD) team, with the assistance of former 2nd district of Batangas Rep. Raneo Abu.
They distributed protective masks to the affected residents of Agoncillo, Balayan, and Batangas City.
The donation comes as the Taal Volcano continues to emit volcanic gas, causing air quality to deteriorate in the surrounding areas. Residents have been advised to wear face masks when outdoors to protect themselves from harmful particles.
“Anakalusugan’s advocacy has always been centered around bringing healthcare closer to the people. Apart from our regular medical and dental missions, we make it a point to always help affected residents whenever health emergencies arise,” Reyes said.
Reyes said they donated masks in the towns of Nasugbu, Tuy, and Balayan, and that Anakalusugan intends to continue its donation operations in other towns of the province.
“Let us be proactive. Even if the vog around the volcano subsides somehow, we need to be prepared especially since Taal is still at alert level one,” the lawmaker said.
According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, vog from Taal volcano had already cleared thanks to the recent rains and thunderstorms.
However, Philippine Volcanology and Seismology Administration director Teresito Bacolcol raised the likelihood of vog recurrence as Taal continues to spew sulfur dioxide emissions, with plumes reaching 1,800 meters high.
Taal Volcano remains under Alert Level 1, which means that phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall and lethal accumulations of volcanic gas may still occur.