House to hold session in Batangas to listen to Taal eruption victims

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 21 2020 06:26 PM | Updated as of Jan 21 2020 06:27 PM

MANILA - The House of Representatives will hold a plenary session in Batangas province on Wednesday amid Taal Volcano's continued unrest, which has displaced tens of thousands. 

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano made the proposal in his opening speech Monday during the first session of the 18th Congress.

"It is time for us to act. But it is also time for us to listen," he said.

The session will take place at the Batangas City Convention Center.

Cayetano challenged House members to come up with long-lasting and reliable solutions, programs and mechanisms to respond to calamities and disasters.

Citing experience from past major disasters in the Philippines, such as Supertyphoon Yolanda in 2013 and the swarm of seismic activities in Mindanao last year, he said the government must introduce measures to improve post-disaster rehabilitation.

The chamber also came up with rehabilitation plans for victims of the Taal eruption while alert level 4, the second highest level that warns of possible hazardous eruption in hours or days, is still in effect.

Cayetano proposed that the body will be organized into a committee on the whole and listen to representatives, responders from all over Batangas, Cavite and Laguna, and those directly affected.
 
He sought the support of Congress to partner with other government institutions in their ongoing initiatives to provide assistance to the victims.

"Hindi po tayo makikipagpaligsahan (We will not be contentious). Hindi po tayo gagawa ng (We will not create a) separate plan. We will have parallel efforts," Cayetano said.

"We want to come up with strategic plan that will assign one department to be fully accountable. We have to learn from our mistakes,” he added. - Report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News