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Lawmaker urges the House of Representatives to investigate PHIVOLCS; netizens react

Barzaga also said that lawmakers should look into the residential settlement surrounding the volcano and those who sold face masks, food, and other necessities at “unreasonable prices” during the time of need.

  • A Cavite Representative blames PHIVOLCS for giving insufficient warnings about Taal Volcano’s eruption.
  • Netizens said that PHIVOLCS is doing its best to inform everyone of the dangers of the eruption.
  • Senate President Tito Sotto also said that PHIVOLCS should be spared any blame as they have provided enough warnings about Taal’s activity as early as March last year.

Cavite’s 4th District Representative Elpidio Barzaga Jr. urged the House committee to look into whether the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) had the expertise and the right equipment to make a “timely” forecast of Taal Volcano’s eruption.

He claimed that there were “no news bulletins or SMS alerts from the Phivolcs and other government agencies” when the alert levels of Taal suddenly increased on Sunday morning.

“Due to lack of information, in the afternoon of the same day… people still traveled towards it, while those who were already near Taal Volcano were shocked to see smoke spewing from it and had to immediately flee under the dangers of ashfall,” the representative said.

Barzaga also said that lawmakers should look into the residential settlement surrounding the volcano and those who sold face masks, food, and other necessities at “unreasonable prices” during the time of need.

Netizens share their opinions

Netizens have expressed their disagreement with Barzaga’s request, saying that the agency is currently dealing with more important things such as the actual eruption of the volcano thus should not be distracted.

Another individual said that “wouldn’t take their staff five minutes” to look up and see that no one can actually predict a volcano’s eruption. He added that what should be investigated instead is the reason behind the budget cut for the Department of Science and Technology.

https://twitter.com/kuyanyan/status/1217100355441287168

A Twitter user even pointed out that a former Phivolcs director admitted that it was very hard for them to convince local politicians about the dangers of a volcanic eruption.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III also said that Phivolcs should be spared the blame following the eruption of Taal Volcano.

He added that the agency had done its job monitoring the activities of the volcano and did not fail to warn the public about the possible reaction.

In fact, Phivolcs already raised the alert level at Taal Volcano to Level 1 as early as March 2019.


“Huwag naman tayo maghanap ng masisisi, it is a natural calamity. Walang pwedeng sisihin diyan,” Sotto stated.

Written by Jacks

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