Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has commended the outpouring of support among the volunteers and organizations who lent out their assistance to help ease the burden of the families badly affected by the recent Taal Volcano eruption.
De Lima, who chairs the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development, also encouraged them to continue their support, particularly in the reconstruction, repair and rehabilitation of the properties damaged by the eruption.
“Nagpapasalamat po tayo sa ating mga volunteers na nagpamalas ng kanilang dedikasyon upang makatulong sa mga naapektuhan ng pagsabog ng bulkang Taal. Kayo ay nagsisilbing inspirasyon sa aming mga lingkod-bayan na higit pang magsumikap sa aming trabaho upang matulungan ang mga biktima ng sakuna,” she said.
“Aside from ensuring the victims’ access to food and water, I also ask my fellow Filipinos to work together in helping restore and rehabilitate the properties damaged by the eruption to ensure not just a chance at survival for the victims but also a sustainable way of living for them,” she added.
Taal Volcano’s eruption, which started on Jan.12, displaced thousands of families from nearby areas and forced them to take temporary shelter at evacuation centers for several days.
Last Jan. 26, two weeks after the eruption, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has downgraded the alert status from Level 4 to Level 3 due to noticeable decrease in activities of Taal Vulcano in the past few days.
Thousands of evacuees displaced by the eruption have been allowed to go back to their respective residences in order to repair their houses and clean their communities from the tons of ashes that have been dumped by the volcano.
De Lima, a social justice and human rights champions, said she is optimistic that the families affected by the Taal eruption can eventually stand on their feet because “there are so many Filipinos who are willing to help.”
“Napanatunayan ng nakalipas na sakuna na buhay na buhay pa ang kultura ng ‘bayanihan’ sa bansa dahil nasaksihan natin kung paano nagpaabot ng kabi-kabilang tulong at serbisyo ang ibat-ibang indibidwal at organisasyon sa mga apektado ng pagsabog ng Taal,” she said.
“Magpatuloy sana ang mga pagdagsa ng tulong hanggang ang mga biktima ay makabalik sa normal nilang pamumuhay,” added the lady Senator from Bicol.
De Lima recently filed Senate Bill (SB) No. 1284 seeking to grant disaster service volunteers with a 15-day paid leaves from work to allow them to participate in specialized disaster-related operations for government-led and government-accredited institutions. She also reintroduced SB No. 1285 seeking to protect licensed and qualified volunteers from liability in the performance of their duties and functions in times of emergency situations, including disasters. (30)