Sorsogon first district Rep. Evelyn Escudero in a special committee hearing of the House Special Committee on Bicol Recovery and Economic Development, quizzed Director Renato Solidum, of the Philippine Volcanology and Seismology, on the actual situation of Mayon.
She was following the argument of Legazpi Mayor Noel Rosal that the forced evacuation that covered the eight kilometer extended danger zone was not necessary.
Solidum explained to Escudero that Mayon on Alert Level 3 does not mean hazardous eruption is emminent.
“So in other words, ang sasabihin natin ngayon is nag-o-over react ang mga local government units, tama po ba?” Escudero further asked. (So in other words, we are saying now that the (heads of) local government units over reacted, is it right?)
Solidum answered: “Baka may rason silang iba. Kung ginamit sa basis (Alert Level 3), dapat maghintay. (Maybe they have some other reasons. If they use Alert Level 3 as basis, they should wait.)
Why there was that haste with, even committing the blunder of, evacuating residents that are in the eight kilometer extended danger zone? An oversight investigation is necessary, one shy observer whispered. The implication of this is that the government spent millions of pesos during the conduct of evacuation, and maintaining the evacuees for the duration of extended false alarm. Time to call for accountability and responsibility, which should be a standard, instead of an exception. Anong sey mo? Good morning Albay.