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Rethink lockdown plan in Batangas

/ 05:03 AM January 29, 2020

I am a resident of Poblacion, Tanauan, Batangas. This is in reaction to what I heard over dzMM last Jan. 24, that the government is proposing a permanent lockdown of all areas within the 14-kilometer danger zone. May I suggest that this proposal be carefully studied? Government still has to make significant development work for victims of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” and the Marawi siege. I am very sorry but the government’s track record in caring for disaster victims remains discomforting. Can the government afford to embrace a new wave of victims?If permanently displaced, the one million population in the danger zone will create a man-made social disaster. Taal Volcano historically erupts every 50 years or so. This is enough time to build evacuation centers as compared to displacing one million people. What has to be done now with the help of local government units is to assist the families. The government can patiently explain to residents why transferring to areas outside the danger zone is a wise decision. And if a family decides to follow, government must have a support system that would assist these families in starting all over again. If this support system—which should include housing and jobs enough to meet a family’s basic needs—are in place, then by all means, convince them to evacuate.

In Italy, the government allotted 30,000 euros for each family who would relocate away from Mount Vesuvius. But the majority did not relocate. The idea of a permanent lockdown must be studied carefully.

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I salute all government agencies for their efforts up to this day. We must always include the people in whatever plans we think would “benefit” them. One policeman said as quoted: “Kung pipigilan natin sila (to go back to their properties to check on their belongings and animals), para na rin natin silang pinapatay.” He was listening to the local residents.

STELLA GONZALES, [email protected]

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TAGS: Batangas, lockdown, Taal Volcano
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