Albay gov orders Mayon evacuees to return home
By Connie Calipay
LEGAZPI CITY --- The provincial government of Albay has ordered the remaining 2,441 families or 8,763 individuals, who have sought refuge in different evacuation centers since June this year due to Mt. Mayon’s restiveness, to return home on Thursday afternoon.
The decampment was based on the advisory of the Albay Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council- Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (PDRRMC-APSEMO) signed by Albay Governor Edcel Grex Lagman.
“Due to Mayon Volcano’s decreasing signs of restiveness based on the monitoring of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) as well as by the APSEMO, I hereby direct the respective local chief executives (LCEs) of cities and municipalities to order the decampment of their respective evacuees immediately,” Lagman said in his order.
He added that Albay PDRRMC acknowledges the need for the evacuee families to return to normalcy as they have been residing for more than three months in the evacuation centers.
Albay Governor Edcel Grex Lagman (left) and Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office chief Dr. Cedric Daep (Photo courtesy of Albay PIO)
“All families returning home are also instructed to follow decampment protocols and stay alert, as Mayon volcano remains at alert level 3,” Lagman said.
Earlier this month, the local government units of Guinobatan, Sto. Domingo and Daraga ordered the decampment of their evacuees.
The remaining evacuees returning home starting on Thursday are from Tabaco City (444 families); Malilipot (911 families); Camalig (1,030 families) and Ligao City (56 families).
Mary Gizelle Mesa, Department of Social Welfare and Development-Bicol (DSWD-5) spokesperson, said despite the decampment, Mayon evacuees will still receive the second tranche of their Emergency Cash Transfer (ECT) benefits this month.
“Each family will receive PHP12,330,” she said in a message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA).
Mesa said DSWD-5 also provided family food packs to the returning evacuees as their food supply until Oct. 9.
“The family food packs are already distributed to their respective local government units,” she said.
Thousands of villagers were evacuated in June after a state of calamity was declared in the province due to Mayon Volcano’s effusive eruption. (PNA)