- 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.
— DZMM TeleRadyo (@DZMMTeleRadyo) January 14, 2020
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.
I am strongly against the call for investigation na sinusulong ng congress against PHIVOLCS. Kasagsagan ng eruption ididistract niyo sila?
We're facing an imminent explosive eruption and the least we can do is to support them and follow what they're saying.
— Ralph Abainza (@AbainzaRalph) January 14, 2020
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.
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.
Just to add: One of the frustrations of Dr. Ray Punongbayan (team handler for the 1991 Mt. Pinatubo eruption and former PHIVOLCS director) was that it was very hard to convince politicians about the dangers of the eruption. They could've been more prepared. https://t.co/20kJCPw6Rg
— Ash Presto 💜 (@sosyolohija) January 14, 2020
this fucking government has the audacity to smart shame filipino scientists, deny them their research budget, and blame them when they couldn’t predict a fucking volcanic eruption?!? aba sana sinabi niyong manghuhula pala gusto niyo. 🤡
— Carlos (@qarloscuiapo) January 15, 2020
Wow so the government is attacking PHIVOLCS eh tangina sila nga itong nagkukumahog magbigay ng updates sa Taal eruption?? Habang kayo busy itago yung calamity fund
— jerico (@pangungulila) January 15, 2020
Gustong paimbestigahan ng isang matalinong Congressman ang pagputok ni Bulkang Taal ng walang pasabi…
Sino tatawagin nya sa hearing, si Papa God?
— Mark Lopez (@MacLen315) January 15, 2020
Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are NOT like typhoons that you can see from miles away. Send this man back to school and teach him basic earth science. I, too, stand with @phivolcs_dost https://t.co/Xz1v5w2ZxV
— Chai Fonacier (@bansheerabidcat) January 15, 2020
A simple google search would show that Phivolcs did release warnings. Ang dapat imbestigahan ay kung saan napunta ang pera na inalis muna sa calamity fund. Balita ko may namigay ng 50k sa bawat birthday celebrant sa military ah https://t.co/SDnbFOgqX6
— whoopi (@_whopialikeit) January 15, 2020
Bago ako matulog, gusto lang talagang pasalamatan ang mga tao sa likod ng PHILVOLCS.
Hanggang ngayon, ilang araw na yan walang mga tulog, pero nakakausap ng maayos, malumanay. Marami akong tanong kanina, pero kalmado at maayos ang pagkaka-explain.
Salamat, PHILVOLCS ah. Sobra
— raffy magno (@raffymagno) January 15, 2020
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.