Taal Volcano Island Remains Banned from Entry

Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas has taken a decisive step by declaring Taal Volcano Island (TVI) a “no man’s land” to ensure public safety. This decision comes in the aftermath of a series of grass fires that engulfed parts of the island, prompting authorities to prohibit entry for residents and visitors alike.

The governor cited the extensive damage caused by the wildfires, as seen in video footage from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology’s (Phivolcs) Agoncillo Observation Station (VTAG). Despite Taal Volcano being on Alert Level 1, indicating restiveness, the proximity to the volcano makes it inherently dangerous, reinforcing the necessity of keeping TVI off-limits.

Governor Mandanas highlighted the province’s readiness to respond to emergencies, with the Provincial Social Welfare Development Office (PSWDO) and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) on standby. While there are no immediate signs of an eruption, proactive measures are in place to assist locals if such a situation arises.

The PDRRMO remains vigilant in monitoring abnormal scenarios on the island and is actively clearing grass to prevent further fire incidents, especially during the hot and dry season. Fire Officer 1st Class Erold Camacho of San Nicolas Fire Station attributed the recent grassfires to unattended campfires, urging heightened awareness among constituents to prevent similar incidents.

Authorities emphasize that TVI falls within the Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) designated by Phivolcs, making it crucial for locals to respect the restrictions and prioritize safety. As Batangas prepares to welcome tourists this summer, Governor Mandanas underscores the importance of preventive measures to safeguard personal well-being at all times.