DENR providing equipment for Kanlaon air, water testing 

DENR Secretary Antonia Loyzaga (center)  at the Negros Occidental Capitol  in Bacolod City on Thursday.* 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources will provide equipment to monitor air and water quality   in areas close to Kanlaon Volcano following its recent eruption, DENR Secretary Antonia Yulo Loyzaga said on Thursday, June 13.

 Loyzaga was in Negros on Thursday to see how her department can assist government agencies responding to the aftermath of the eruption. 

“What we are trying to do is work very closely with the province in order   to identify where it would be best to position the instruments so that they can actually be effective in terms of decision making,” she said. 

“The issue here is the lahar is mobilizing wherever the waterways will allow it   to flow,” she said. 

Whether that impacts the communities, agriculture or the fish in the river, that will be the way they will determine where the instruments should be placed, Loyzaga said. 

The DENR will be enhancing the monitoring instruments in Negros, she said. 

They hope to be able to capacitate the LGUs using instruments that the DENR will provide, Loyzaga said.   

The DENR is also ready to also support the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology in its delineation of the Kanlaon Volcano 4- kilometer danger zone. 

“What we are here to do is to support in any way, perhaps in mapping support,” she said. 

Regional Director Raul Fernandez of the Office of Civil Defense Region VI said they asked the DENR secretary for the continues testing for air and water quality, and for the actual delineation of the 4-kilometer danger zone in coordination with the Phivolcs. 

The danger zone is composed of portions of La Castellana, La Carlota City, Murcia and Bago City that have been cleared of occupants, Fernandez said. 

The permanent danger zone should not be occupied by residents, he said. 

There are 6,119 persons from La Castellana affected by Kanlaon Volcano’s eruption, with 4,785 still in evacuation centers, Fernandez said. 

The bulk of the evacuees are in La Castellana but there are some who have gone to Binalbagan, Fernandez said.  

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Francis  Tolentino said  will seek the intervention of the Department of Agriculture to provide emergency assistance to upland farmers in Negros Island, whose livelihoods were wiped out by Mt. Kanlaon’s  eruption and the spate of lahar flows in recent weeks.* 

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