LIPA CITY, BATANGAS, Jan. 20 (PIA) - Line government agencies are set to augment sanitation and comfort room facilities in evacuation centers in the Province of Batangas.
In a conference yesterday, Joint Task Group Taal Commander BGen. Marceliano Teofilo, together with Presidential Adviser for Southern Tagalog Secretary Dennis Hernandez, newly-installed SOLCOM Commander MGen. Antonio Parlade, Jr., Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Assistant SecretaryAnton Hernandez and Mr. Reyan Derrick Marquez of the Office of Civil Defense IV-A discussed concerns raised on sanitation facilities, specifically comfort rooms.
While some portalets are currently available, these would not be enough for the long term use of thousands of people. Building latrines or comfort rooms is seen as the solution as this could be a health issue later on.
Bgen. Teofilo added that the Department of Health (DOH) will identify the location for the installation of latrines or comfort rooms as they are the lead agency for health along with DSWD.
The Philippine Air Force 355th Aviation Engineer Wing is set to help in constructing comfort rooms in some of the evacuation centers in the Province of Batangas.
According to Col. Gerardo M. Zamudio Jr., their team is composed of 25 skilled workers and support personnel led by Lt. Bob Quilay who is also an engineer and knowledgeable in construction works.
During the briefing, Sec. Dennis Hernandez recounted their aerial ocular inspection and reminded people to remain alert.
SOLCOM Commander MGen Antonio Parlade, Jr., then reiterated that while the volcano looks calm it is still under Alert Level 4 based on the last PHIVOLCS bulletin. He hopes however that the situation would not escalate.
"What we want to do now is to give the right assessment based on what we have seen and recommend to the national and local government what to do with the affected population of Taal eruption and what the government can offer to them," Commander Parlade stated upon seeing the last aerial ocular inspection and assessing the actual damage.
DSWD ASec. Anton Hernandez then stated that all DSWD undersecretaries and assistant secretaries are deployed on the ground to assess and address gaps, including sanitation in the evacuation centers.
ASec. Anton Hernandez also emphasized reminders from DOH that donation of cooked food, used clothing, formula milk and noodles is not advised.
"What is needed now is hygiene kits and sleeping kits. As for food, there is sufficient food. If you are to donate food, it is advisable to cook it in evacuation area." (MBL-PIA4A)