Alarming concerns arise over the possible eruption of Mount Mayon in Albay Province in South-eastern Luzon, and the voluminous emissions of smog and sulfur of the Taal Volcano in Batangas Province, South Luzon, which threaten to displace and affect thousands of children and their families.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) announced that Mount Mayon is now placed on Alert Level 3 as it exhibits an increased tendency towards hazardous eruption. 2,640 families or around 10,578 individuals, including children, within the six-kilometer Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) of Mayon Volcano are being evacuated, Friday morning of 09 June 2023.
Meanwhile, classes in all levels were suspended in Laurel, Batangas since June 7, due to the Taal Volcano's increased emission of sulfur dioxide from the main crater which also produced volcanic smog (vog) over the Taal Caldera. The volcanic gas is continuously posing health and safety concerns to vulnerable members of the communities such as infants and children, lactating mothers, senior citizens, and residents with respiratory illnesses.
Save the Children Philippines is already assessing the situation of children and families in Albay together with local civil society partner Tarabang Para sa Bicol, as well as those living in the Taal area. The humanitarian organization is also on standby, and ready to respond and provide humanitarian assistance to affected children and families.
Save the Children Philippines CEO, Atty. Alberto Muyot, said:
“We are appealing to the local government units to ensure the safety and protection of children and their families during this crisis, as well as to activate their Comprehensive Emergency Program for Children (CEPC) to address the safety, protection, participation, and development of all children especially as they now face the multiple threats of natural disasters, such as the Mayon and Taal volcanoes, that are exacerbated by the climate and inequality crises.
Children’s rights to be protected at all times, to be with their families and friends, to survive and remain healthy, and to continue learning amidst disasters and emergencies should always be realized.”