Visitors offer glimmer of hope

Tagaytay City―Business in this usually bustling city has yet to return to normal, as business owners have decided to reschedule their openings because of the limited supply of water following the Taal Volcano eruption.

Visitors offer glimmer of hope
Coffee and pineapple growers in areas around Taal Volcano, who have to deal with the thick layers of ash it rained down on their plants, have suffered the most after its eruption. AFP
Even then, their impending reopenings have shined a ray of hope on this cool highland retreat for Metro Manilans, who flock to Tagaytay mainly to admire the views of Taal along the city’s ridge.

Power has been restored in parts of Tagaytay, but most of the city’s 2,295 commercial establishments still have to rely on water deliveries as the volcano’s restiveness downed power and water lines.

Cheryl Agapay, who owns a bulalo (beef marrow soup) diner here, said she had already spent nearly P40,000 in three days to buy 24 truckloads of water to wash away the mud that had accumulated in her restaurant.

“We really needed the water to remove the thick mud from our roofs,” Agapay said in an ABS-CBN television interview.

“We can’t wait for the water supply to return to normal. We need to clean our restaurant, and water is a real need for our business,” she added.

Operators of SkyRanch, the city’s amusement park, also availed of hefty water deliveries in a bid to resume operations Saturday, six days after the volcano began spewing ash that spread to nearby areas, including Tagaytay.

“It’s not all about business. We do have a lot of employees that depend on us, that’s why we want to reopen soon,” said Ryan Go, SkyRanch’s operating officer.

Meanwhile, Tagaytay’s City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office chief Clyde Yayong said power companies have yet to restore electricity in the city, even as water providers are still checking the quality of Kaybubutong Spring, one of the city’s sources of water that were partly contaminated by Taal’s sulfuric ash.

Yayong said authorities may be able to fully restore power and water in one of Southern Luzon’s top tourism destinations by next week, as local authorities plan to hold a grand reopening of Tagaytay on Jan. 24 in time for the Chinese New Year.

Visitors offer glimmer of hope
Department of Agriculture graphic shows the extent of damage to cash crops, fisheries, and other commodities. AFP
Also, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said crops coated with ash from the eruption of Taal could still be saved by washing these off with water power sprays.

Dar said this after authorities demonstrated how pineapple and coffee farmers in Silang, Cavite could use this method.

“If there is a power spray, you can douse fruit trees covered with ashfall. These can still be saved if the tree is not damaged. If it is damaged, it needs to be rehabilitated; it will be cut and it will grow again,” Dar said in a radio interview.

When it exploded on Sunday, Taal volcano spewed towering columns of fine grey ash, destroying at least P3.06 billion worth of crops, fish, and livestock, officials said.

READ: Ashfall destroys P578 million in coffee, other cash crops, livestock and infra

Visitors offer glimmer of hope
Coffee and pineapple growers in areas around Taal Volcano, who have to deal with the thick layers of ash it rained down on their plants, have suffered the most after its eruption. AFP
In CALABARZON­ region, the government distributed an initial P21.7 billion worth of crops and livestock to help farmers and were preparing seeds, fingerlings, and rice, according to a Department of Agriculture report on Facebook.

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Topics: Taal Volcano eruption , Cheryl Agapay , Clyde Yayong , Department of Agriculture
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