(Photo: Casino Filipino Tagaytay Branch Manager Victor Crisostomo (left) leads the PAGCOR team in distributing relief packs to the Taal evacuees from the town of Laurel).
THE Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) swiftly responded to the call for help of those affected by the renewed activity of Taal Volcano after it delivered relief assistance to the residents of the towns of Agoncillo, Laurel, Balete and Tanauan City in Batangas.
PAGCOR distributed 2,000 relief packs containing canned goods, mosquito nets and facemasks to the recipients from the said municipalities, who were forced to flee their homes anew as the restive volcano emitted toxic fumes and caused strong tremors that damaged several residential structures. The volcano began manifesting signs of another violent eruption on July 1, 2021 when it sent steam and rock fragments hundreds of meters into the sky.
Tanauan City Vice Mayor Atty. Herminigildo Trinidad, Jr. profusely expressed his gratitude to the state-run gaming firm, as he recalled that their city was also a beneficiary of the agency’s prompt delivery of emergency assistance during Taal Volcano’s first eruption in January last year.
“Noong nagdaang taon matapos ang unang pagsabog ng Taal, nakatulong sa amin ang PAGCOR ng ilang beses. Ngayon, muli silang narito para mag-abot ng tulong kaya’t maraming, maraming salamat,” he said.
Trinidad also assured that those who were evacuated to safer grounds are constantly reminded to practice health protocols like physical distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, several residents of Balete have expressed hope that the construction of a multi-purpose evacuation center in the town, as well as the PAGCOR Village projects funded by the agency in the neighboring towns of Agoncillo and Lemery, will be finished soon as they always endure the hassles and inconveniences of seeking refuge in temporary shelters each time Taal Volcano erupts.
The PAGCOR Village projects were launched in February 18, 2021. Each village was funded P30 million and features 100 units of 30-square-meter houses and an arc or signage at the entrance of the project sites.