Phivolcs responds to Talisay Vice Mayor criticisms: “We are firm in our science”

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The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) made a response to Talisay, Batangas Vice Mayor Charlie Natauan criticizing the government scientists for causing panic to the affected families of Taal volcano and insisting that the government should allow them already to go home.

In a press conference, Phivolcs Volcano Monitoring and Eruption Prediction Division head Mariton Bornas said that they understand the feelings of Natauan, however, they’re going to stand firm to their decision not to allow anyone to go near the 14km danger zone of Taal Volcano.

“With all due respect to the Vice Mayor, we can understand that he is under so much stress. We would like to respect ‘yung feelings ni Vice Mayor,” she said.

“We understand their plight. We will be the first one to say if it’s safe to go back. We have them in mind all the time,” she added.

Bornas explained that all their advisories are being backed by data.

“At the same time, we are firm in our science. We are doing our best. We are working doubly hard so we can give them the best information,” she said.

Meanwhile, an official of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) was saddened by the statement of Natanauan who even asked if Phivolcs chief Renato Solidum Jr. is acting like a God already.

According to DILG Spokesman Jonathan Maya, they’re going to communicate with the Vice Mayor to convince him that the decisions of Philvolcs are based on data.

“Nakakalungkot nga po nung mabalitaan namin ang statement ng ating vice mayor na hindi po siya naniniwala,” he said.

Yesterday, Natanauan criticized Solidumand even bared his plan to talk with the President to convince the chief executive that it’s already safe for the people of Talisay to go home.

“Ang plano ko as vice mayor ay ako ay humihingi ng kuwan kay Presidente Duterte na kung maaari ‘yung opinyon ng Phivolcs ay medyo baguhin kasi masyado niyang pinalala ang sitwasyon ng balita,” Natanauan said.

“Masyado niyang ano e, sabi niya mas malakas ang puputok na susunod, nag iipon lamang. Opinyon niya ‘yon…Nag-iisa siya (Solidum) sa kaniyang opinyon. Kami buong Batangas ang naapektuhan sa kaniyang sinasabi. Pag-aralan niyang mabuti,” he added.

“Wala pang nakapag predict sa buong mundo kahit scientist sa pagputok ng bulkan, bakit naman nasabi niya, siya ba ay Diyos?” he also said.

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