SPEAKER Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on Friday urged the Department of Health (DoH) and concerned local government units (LGUs) to help people affected by the Taal’s volcanic smog or vog.
“We have to assist residents of areas around Taal Volcano like Batangas, Cavite, Laguna and even Metro Manila to cope with this temporary problem,” he said.
He said the DoH and LGUs should distribute N95 face masks and other protective gadgets to affected residents.
Speaker Romualdez said he received information from Deputy Majority Leader Erwin Tulfo that the DoH still has enough supply of N95 face masks procured during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have to protect affected residents from volcanic dusts and gases and from possible respiratory ailments,” the Speaker stressed as he made the request to DoH through Ako Bicol Partylist Rep. Zaldy Co, chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations.
He suggested that if face masks are not yet available, residents could improvise like covering their face with cloth.
The leader of the 311-member House of Representatives also called on the DoH and LGUs to prepare for possible respiratory issues arising from volcanic smog in the affected areas.
“If they have available drugs for these ailments, they should already preposition them in places where they would be needed,” he said.
Early Thursday, there were reports that haze from Taal Volcano’s emissions was spreading over Cavite, Laguna, Batangas and Metro Manila, prompting authorities to suspend classes.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) and the air monitoring office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) later clarified that the smog that was observed was from fumes and gases emitted by motor vehicles.
The Phivolcs said Taal’s emissions were drifting west-westward and not in the direction of Metro Manila.